Lost Voices at Kettle’s Yard

John Cage, Songbooks - Lost Voices kick in at Kettles Yard




Tuesday, 17 May, 8.00pm, Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge.

“I was at the Electric Voice Theatre concert last night and thought it was the best new music concert I’ve seen in a long time. Theatre and new music seem to work really well together. I particularly enjoyed the piece by Alejandro Vinao. Please pass on my congratulations to Frances and my thanks to Stephen for putting it on.” ( Cambridge 1st year music undergrad)

To perform in such a special venue as Kettle’s Yard is a great privilege, and one that was most appreciated by the whole electric voice theatre team. The audience were clearly knowledgeable, but at the same time appreciative, and patient enough to be moved around the venue to the best positions for experiencing each piece.

We started with Eduardo Reck Miranda’s “Requiem per una veu perduda”,

Requiem per una veu perduda, E R Miranda

where I was able to draw attention to the art work on display in the room, particularly the bhudda and Lady Macbeth whose presence seeped into the electronic sound track, punctuated by guitars and poetry. We moved on to make a recording of some Cage, before I lost my voice – its not really sensible to name a programme “Lost Voices” when you are a singer. While the audience checked the recording, I changed costume from my 50’s widow to a mysterious veiled woman dressed in colourful African cloth, carrying a bundle and began Paul Barker’s “Kabara’s Lullaby”.

After the interval, Alejandro Viñao’s “Chicos del 21” 


provided a strong opening to the second half, it felt very intimate and delicate in places in this small venue – a revelation after its first performance in the huge auditorium of Radio France in June last year. Then finally it all came to a close with the Cage Songbooks – a collection I’d made to reflect the theme of lost voices, with projections inserted onto the walls like paintings –  created by Charlotte McClelland. This work is a great excuse to be as daft as you are, and although it didn’t quite show me as daft as I really am, it went a long way……

It was a tricky venue to get sound right, but our sound designer, Alan Burgess, worked miracles as usual. The whole team, from Herbie Clarke and his filming (soon to be seen on youtube) and Amanda Carrick’s rock solid back stage work and chess playing, gave their best. What more could you ask for.

Song No. 43 - recording



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