Legendary American musician Charlemagne Palestine performs the UK premiere of a new composition for carillon bells. The carillon was one of the first instruments played by Palestine in the 1960s; it consists of 23 or more cast bronze bells, precisely tuned to produce a harmonious effect. Extreme physical energy is required to perform the 25 bells of the Civic Centre carillon, using both fists and feet to play the keyboard and pedals.
This performance launched AV Late & Live across Newcastle, and was followed by previews of all the Festival exhibitions across the city. A bar was open in the Grand Stair Hall of the Civic Centre, where a silent live video relay of the artist performing inside the bell tower could be viewed in addition to hearing the performance outside.
This performance was co-commissioned with Ikon, Birmingham. It toured to Ikon on Saturday 26 June 2010, performed on the carillon at the Village Green in Bournville.
Charlemagne Palestine is an American composer, performer, and visual artist. A contemporary of Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Phill Niblock, and Steve Reich, Palestine wrote intense, ritualistic music in the 1970s. A composer-performer originally trained to be a cantor he always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest works were compositions for carillon and electronic drones, and he is perhaps best known for his intensely performed piano works. He also performs as a vocalist, singing long tones with gradually shifting vowels and overtones while moving through the performance space.
Co-commissioned by AV Festival 10 and Ikon. Produced by AV Festival in partnership with Newcastle City Council. UK Premiere.