In Anatomy of the Orchestra: Drone Refractions, Charles Hazlewood and Paraorchestra turn the orchestra inside-out, charting an immersive drone odyssey via some of Minimalism’s forebears and its greatest composers.
This unique performance re-casts the orchestra as a living, breathing installation: thirty-four musicians are arrayed throughout the space as they play. The audience is invited to walk or sit amongst them, to get close to the performers and sink into a deep sonic realm as enveloping drones mix with heady lighting design to conjure a hazy, transcendent atmosphere.
The repertoire of Drone Refractions is arranged as a triptych. Across approximately fifty minutes, audiences will experience a brand new piece by ascendant composer and Paraorchestra affiliate Rylan Gleave, who draws inspiration from Minimialist precursor-prophet John Cage and his seminal work Seventy Four, a new configuration of the legendary Pauline Oliveros’ The Last Time/Ultima Vez by Charlotte Harding featuring the sublime vocals of Victoria Oruwari, and a performance of Fratres by that most holy of Minimalists, Estonian visionary Arvo Pärt.
Part-sound bath, part-ritual, part-installation, Drone Refractions compels audience members to inhabit new musical worlds, to experience the meditative magic of drone and witness these transportive sounds up close as never before.
Drone Refractions premieres at the Southbank Centre on Friday 26 January 2024.