Are you worried about the rising cost of funerals?
Errollyn Wallen's new work combines Latin American-influenced words and music with contemporary composition.
Focusing on the subject of death, Are you worried about the rising cost of funerals? weaves together powerful swinging rhythms with gospel style embellishments.
The texts display a wide range of characters and deal with different perspectives on death while avoiding an angry or morose approach.
Marrying a Central American sensibility with contemporary European stylings, the Belize-born composer's work resonates with New Music Biennial's international theme.
About Errollyn Wallen
Born in Belize, Errollyn Wallen gave up her training at the Dance Theater of Harlem, New York to study composition at the universities of London and Cambridge. She founded her own Ensemble X, and its motto ’We don’t break down barriers in music… we don’t see any’ reflects her genuine, free-spirited approach and eclectic musicianship. She has been commissioned by outstanding music institutions from the BBC to the Royal Opera House and performed her songs internationally.
About McFall's Chamber
Mr McFall’s Chamber was formed with the aim to create new audiences, new music and new directions in music. The group has a policy of mixing widely different styles in the same programme – anything from progressive rock, tango, cartoon classics, folk, jazz, early music to contemporary classical – to introduce audiences to music they otherwise might not encounter. Running through the group’s history and planning for the future is a genuine desire to broaden the appeal of the (often lesser-known) music that it plays. The group is also dedicated to supporting the work of UK composers and regularly commissions new works, as well as generating new music from within the ranks of the ensemble.
NB: Due to personal circumstances Gabriel Jackson has been unable to deliver his commission. The replacement piece performed by Mr McFall’s Chamber for the New Music Biennial is Errollyn Wallen’s Are you worried about the rising cost of funerals?
The performance of 'Are you worried about the rising cost of funerals?' was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 between 4 and 7 August 2014 and will be available as a download in MP3 and FLAC formats here on 14 August 2014.