Royal Festival Hall
Scott Walker's Meltdown 2000
'Britain's most cutting-edge festival' (Evening Standard). This year's Director is Scott Walker who, since the '60s, has built a formidable opus moving from mainstream to cult. For Meltdown 2000 he delivers the exalted company you'd expect from a man whose influence stretches over four decades.
Scott Walker directs the eighth MELTDOWN festival, in the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and National Film Theatre. This year's impressive line-up of some of Walker's favourite artists and performers builds on the formidable reputation Meltdown holds as "the South Bank's most ambitious music festival" (Evening Standard 1998), with a list of superb names from the worlds of music, film, dance and theatre.
Highlights of the festival include the opening weekend staging the world premieres of new scores by Scott Walker and Orbital, performed to by the Richard Alston Dance Company and the Cholmondeleys (17 & 18 June), concerts by Radiohead (1 July), Blur (2 July), and Jarvis Cocker (24 June), and three nights of classic theatre with the first British production of the acclaimed French director Luc Bondy's En Attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) (29 June - 2 July). Meltdown 2000 also hosts the British premiere of a new work by classical composer Mark Anthony Turnage (23 June), and the first-ever London performance by Ensemble Organum, one of Europe's leading early music groups specialising in pre and para-Gregorian chant (22 June). There are concerts by Smog (25 June), Jim O'Rourke's first full British concert (27 June) and Evan Parker (28 June); and a full cinema programme of 14 films at the National Film Theatre (dates tbc).
The first weekend of Meltdown 2000 opens on 17 & 18 June in the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the world premiere of two new scores by Scott Walker and Orbital, in a double bill of top British contemporary dance. Lea Anderson choreographs a new work for the score by Orbital, performed by the all female Cholmondeleys dance company. Lea is a choreographer with a cult following, as well as being the founder and director of Cholmeleys and the all male Feathershaughs, she has worked on pop promos, adverts and films. She choreographed the glam rock film Velvet Goldmine, teaching Ewen McGregor how to move like Iggy Pop.
The Richard Alston Dance Company is Britain's largest independent dance company and has an avid following. Music plays a vital part in the company's identity and during the past five years Alston has used the work of a diverse range of composers including JS Bach, Benjamin Britten, Hoagy Carmichael, Jen-Philippe Rameau, Igor Stravinsky and Johannes Brahms. For Meltdown the company perform to the world premiere of a new score by Scott Walker, choreographed by Martin Lawrance who has danced with the Richard Alston Dance Company since 1995.
Ensemble Organum provide a serene yet intense evening in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 22 June. Founded by Marcel PÃ©rÃ¨s in 1982 at the Abbey of Senaque, and established at the Foundation Royaumont near Paris since 1984, Ensemble Organum has made the revival of the vocal and instrumental art practiced at different periods of the Middle Ages its vocation. The Ensemble's repertoire extends from the earliest source known (Old Roman, Gallican and Caroligian chant) to the 15th century, and is composed in large part of music intended for liturgy.
Mark-Anthony Turnage is one of Britain's most important young classical composers. His music can be tender, gut-wrenching, driven, dark or lyrical, and his sources include the Harlem cityscapes of Langston Hughes, the East End vernacular of Steven Berkoff, the visceral canvases of Frances Bacon and the jazz of Miles Davis. For Meltdown 2000 the South Bank presents the British premiere of Evening Songs on 23 June in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Evening Songs is a three movement orchestral work lasting 18 minutes, commissioned by NDR and first performed by the NDR Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach in Hamburg on 2 January 2000. All three movements began life as short piano pieces for Turnage's two sons and have since been expanded and developed.
Jarvis Cocker appears in the Meltdown festival for the second year running. A self-proclaimed fan of Scott Walker, Cocker is preparing a special performance for Meltdown in the Royal Festival Hall on 24 June.
Smog (alias Bill Callahan) was pioneering the home-recording boom before lo-fi became the sound to emulate. The result from the magnificent Julius Caeser to the latest Knock Knock is a spare, sonic wonderland, one that can mix cello and banjo, the hilarious and poignant, the intimate and the profoundly bizarre. Smog deliver a concert in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 25 June.
Chicago born Jim O'Rourke is a composer, performer and producer and a major presence on the avant-garde music scene bridging the gap between American and European experimentalists. He performs in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 27 June. O'Rourke has taken on improvisational jazz, rock noise, electro-acoustic and ambient music, and collaborated with artists including Derek Bailey, The Kronos Quartet and Faust. He has also produced artists including Smog, Stereolab, US Maple, and John Fahey.
Coinciding with Leo Records 20th Anniversary festival, Evan Parker, jazz saxophonist extraordinaire appears in the Purcell Room on 28 June, in an evening of international young talent from Russia, Switzerland, France, Germany, Hungary and Britain. The evening includes appearances by Guyvoronsky/ Petrova Duo (Russia), Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky (trumpet), Evelyn Petrova (accordion), John Wolf Brennan (piano), John Edwards (bass), and John Russell (guitar).
The last three nights of the Meltdown 2000 feature French theatre-master Luc Bondy's production of Samuel Beckett's En Attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot). Luc Bondy is best known in Britain for a stream of hits at the Edinburgh International Festival. Produced in French with English surtitles this major new production has created fervour across Europe and at last receives its UK premiere in the Queen Elizabeth Hall from 29 June - 2 July.
Meltdown 2000 reaches an explosive climax with a weekend of pop-world heavyweights with Radiohead and Blur playing on 1 & 2 July in the Royal Festival Hall. Radiohead's concert sold-out in record time, while Blur appear for the first time in their entire line-up, supported by the Japanese street band Cicala Muta, sending Meltdown out with a fitting bang.
* ELLIOTT SMITH RFH 21 June 7.30pm He's an Oscar nominee and Grammy Award-winner and no wonder - Elliott produces some of the most beautiful music alive and tonight he's joined by special guests Tom McRae and Clearlake.
* ENSEMBLE ORGANUM 'Corsican Chants' QEH 22 June 7.45pm One of Europe's great ensembles are masters of medieval chant and tonight celebrate 'Corsican Chant'. Special guest: Munadjat Yulchieva.
* KIM KASHKASHIAN & ROBYN SCHULKOWSKY: Berio & Kurtag + MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE: 'Evening Songs' & 'Momentum' QEH 23 June 7.45pm A magnificent celebration of contemporary classical music, including the world premiere of Turnage's 'Evening Songs' played by the Harrow Young Musicians Philharmonic (conductor: Mark Gooding) plus Kashkashian and Schulkowsky with music from Berio ('Naturale for Viola') and a selection from Kurtag.
* DOUGLAS GORDON 'Feature Film' RFH 24 June 7.30pm 1996 Turner Prize-winner returns to Hitchcock (after the success of '24 Hour Psycho') with a dizzying take on Herrmann's music for the master's 'Vertigo'. This is contemporary art at its most audacious. London 35mm premiere.
* SMOG, A TOUCH OF GLASS (JARVIS COCKER, STEVE MACKEY & ALISDAIR MALLOY) & FUCKHEAD RFH 25 June 7.30pm Last few tickets remaining for this night without precedent.
* ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION RFH 27 June 7.30pm With their multicultural method and street-wise sense, ADF are The Clash's natural inheritors and produce live performances to change the world. Special guests: Les Negresses Vertes.
* JIM O'ROURKE QEH 27 June 7.45pm The US King of lo-fi raises a smile at the darkest moments. Special guest: Cathal Coughlan.
* EVAN PARKER TRIO PR 28 June 7.30pm Jazz great in night celebrating Leo Records.
* EN ATTENDANT GODOT (WAITING FOR GODOT) QEH 30 June-2 July 7.45pm A hit across Europe this outstanding production of Beckett's masterpiece is directed by French theatre master Luc Bondy whose recent credits include Don Carlos (with the Royal Opera) and Macbeth (with Scottish Opera).
* RADIOHEAD RFH 1 July 7.30pm Sold out. Returns only. Special guests: Clinic.
* BLUR RFH 2 July 9pm Sold out. Returns only. Special guests: Cicala Mvta
* FILM PROGRAMME AT NFT
The National Film Theatre will be screening Scott Walker's favourite films during Meltdown 2000. Call 020 7928 3232 or http://www.bfi.org.uk/nft for details.
Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room
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