Pekka Kuusisto is definitely a boundary-breaker, and this time he brings mobile phones on stage to perform Nico Muhly’s Drones & Violin.
Peter Clark (violin) told us more about it.
Pekka Kuusisto and ACO Collective in rehearsals at Llewellyn Hall.
Mobile phones are often regarded as the enemy of classical musicians. But during the Beethoven & The 21st Century performances, members of the ACO Collective are not only being encouraged to bring their mobile phones on stage, but to also make sure they are NOT on silent.
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting appointments for the Australian music scene this year, ACO Collective’s inaugural artistic director Pekka Kuusisto is always full of surprises. The Finnish violinist has never been afraid to do things a little differently, and this is evident in almost everything about him.
In many ways Pekka could be described as a musical chameleon; no other musician on the planet has actively engaged with, and drawn on such diverse musical styles to inspire his own unique voice. During our rehearsals, Pekka switches seamlessly from ‘historically-informed period performer’, to ‘folk musician’; and then as easily from ‘violin virtuoso’, to ‘electronic musician, and looping wizz’. It is this last identity that inspired Pekka to ask every musician of ACO Collective to bring their mobile phone with them on stage.
In the studio as an orchestra we recorded a drone onto our phones, creating a meditative bed of sound. It is above this drone that Pekka plays the Nico Muhly piece, and creates an incredibly beautiful way to start the concert. Don’t be alarmed when you see us add an iPhone to our sheet music on stage!
It was Pekka who inspired me to spend six months living in Finland a couple of years ago; little did I know that one of the world’s truly special musicians would become the ACO Collective’s Artistic Director. I believe this is a special time for the ACO, and a special time for music in Australia.
Peter Clark 2016
Beethoven & The 21st Century
Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney
NICO MUHLY (arr. strings) Part I from Drones & Violin
ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR Action–Passion–Illusion
TIPPETT A Lament from Variations on an Elizabethan Theme
BRYCE DESSNER (arr. strings) Tenebre
BEETHOVEN (arr. strings) String Quartet in F minor, Op.95 ‘Serioso’