Ten Tors Orchestra at Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival in Plymouth (review)

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Ten Tors Orchestra at Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival in Plymouth

It seemed incongruous that the pivotal concert in this year’s Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival should open with the slow movement from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

However, conductor Simon Ible went on to explain how it would form the basis for the evening’s substantial work, following later.

Plymouth University Professor of Computer Music Eduardo R Miranda had created his three-movement Symphony of Minds Listening by applying to the original Beethoven score what our ears do when we listen to music ourselves.

In essence, by analysing brain activity from a ballerina, philosopher, and Eduardo himself, he has fashioned each movement in light of their respective responses.

Subtle balletic traces seemed apparent in the opening, with an unmistakable dash of Latin temperament permeating the finale.

Less immediately-appealing, the philosopher’s contribution had perhaps enjoyed less musical filtering or ordering – or perhaps the responses had been just more tortuous.

Nick Ryan’s As above, So below proved particularly effective when set against the back-projected video of the Kenyan countryside, while Nicholas Grew’s Self Portrait No 1 emerged as an eminently listenable and enjoyable piece.

Simon Ible, and the Ten Tors Orchestra led by Malcolm Latchem deserve a special mention for their stalwart performance in less-familiar repertoire, which definitely made some telling demands on each player.


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