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Ensemble Mundane goes underground.

Three musicians from the Extreme Violin Section of Ensemble Mundane pause for this snapshot during a break from their 2008 Autumn Tour of the London Underground. 

They are playing a new work by the composer, Brian Beano, entitled, “Discrete Music For Crowded Tube Trains”.

The piece is in one movement lasting just under two hours. Mostly it is an extremely quiet, almost meditative work which calls for a high level of concentration on the part of the players. Due to the impossibility of using music stands on crowded tube trains it must be performed from memory. The trio, L to R, is  Ludwig Van Eggleton, Pwczi de Szlekzya and  Derrick Sixtyeightpointfour. They needed six months to learn the work from memory. So far they have given eighty four complete consecutive performances, mostly on the Circle Line but with others on the Jubilee, Northern and Bakerloo lines. 

Brian Beano said of the work: “I wanted to show how kind of hard it is to like hear, you know, really quiet acoustic instruments on a noisy tube train - so I had them playing, like, totally quietly, and everything, and that meant that you’d only really, like, actually hear the music at the stops but then there’d be, like, tons of people pushing past the players because they’d be totally in the way and everything. I really wanted it to be a kind of, you know, like, a kind of “obstructive art” sort of whatever, thing. Also, it’s the first majorly seminal work that’s ever been, like, impossible to hear all the way through, apart from the CD, and I deliberately made that impossibility a totally original feature of it, as such, like, er, a sort of tension thing to go with the anger of the normal tube travellers stuff and everything”.


Photo by Førmål de Hüydt

posted by Førmål de Hüydt on September 26, 2008 | Permalink