Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tension of Opposites

I've blogged a couple of times here about a major commission project which Crouch End Festival Chorus is planning for 2008. The piece is Tension of Opposites by Matthew Ferraro, a film composer whose credits include Tom Cruise's Minority Report and Futurama. 'Tension of Opposites' is a phrase coined by Karl Jung, and refers to the inherent conflict between opposing forces within the human psyche, which can lead either to development and growth or to self-destruction. The work deals with oppositions such as those between faith and belief, old and young, man and the environment, and is scored for large chorus, orchestra and a collection of pre-recorded tracks which include readings from more than 30 texts of the world's major religions, and interviews with eye witnesses and fire-fighters on 9/11.

CEFC is planning to give the world premiere of the work sometime in 2008. As well as the concert itself, the intention is to work with an educational organisation to develop a multimedia tool (to include a recording of the first performance) that can be used to engage with young people and communities in the UK and America. We are also pursuing the possibility of the chorus giving the American premiere, possibly in New York.

On Thursday last week, David Temple, Matthew Ferraro, Andy Beer (a sound engineer who sings in the chorus) and I met up at a sound studio in London's West End to listen to some of the pre-recorded material. We are priveledged to be working with a couple of the world's leading film and TV sound engineers, one of whom designed the sound installation for Bruce Nauman's Raw Materials installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. It was very exciting to get our first impressions of what just one component of the finished work might sound like. The material was still very 'raw': over the next couple of weeks Matthew will be working with his engineers to remix and 'sweeten' the recordings so that they will blend seamlessly with the chorus and orchestra.