Experimental pioneer Andrew Poppy is to perform his new cinematic happening in Liverpool, Getintothis’ Peter Guy looks ahead to a truly unique offering at The Capstone Theatre.
Avant-garde composer and musician Andrew Poppy is to bring his ‘cosmic opera’ Hoarse Songs to Liverpool.
Poppy‘s Hoarse Songs is both a new album and performance – a recording, a concert and a cinematic happening, all at the same time and it is to be performed at The Capstone Theatre on Friday April 12.
Poppy, who is orchestrates and works as a record producer and writer, boasts a unique body of work; his collaborations mix acoustic and electronic sounds with language, visual images and performance disciplines.
Hoarse Songs blends the piano, electronic sounds, orchestral textures and vocal from ‘the four corners of a circle that Mr Poppy dances in‘.
In the 1970s Poppy studied music at Goldsmiths College where he began performing Glass, Riley, Cage and Feldman and composing.
He later attended a summer school with John Cage and started collaborating with other musical artists, choreographers, theatre makers and performance artists.
He signed to Trevor Horn and Paul Morley’s maverick pop label ZTT releasing his first album The Beating of Wings in 1985. He continues to make projects which evade classification.
He has made guest appearances with the BBC concert orchestra both as pianist and live dub mixer. His three albums for ZTT Records in the 1980s have recently been bought by Universal Music.
Hoarse Songs was previewed at The Barge House performance space in London in September 2018.
It has been described as ‘a Cosmic Opera, a metaphysical waking up echoing the spiritual quest of Solaris’. It is an opera without opera singers or a traditional narrative.
But the thematics develop around contemporary ideas and issues: the veiled intimacy of couples, the introspection of place and the fluidity of gender.
Andrew’s recent performances have included festivals in London, Turin, Oporto.
“Creative work is always an invitation, a conversation, a translation, and a collaboration,” Andrew tells Getintothis.
“The ten pieces are like questions, or a ‘calling out’. A call that the imagination of the audience answers. It’s also how the show has developed. Each Sonic Scene has given rise to a visual answer from ten different visual artists.
“Some abstract, others humorous. I’m in five of them, inhabiting costumes of different kinds and one of them has been specially designed and is more like a sculpture. But there’s no space suit!”