l :FI‘IIItS o
Never a group to shy away from the extremes of new and old vocal music. Cappella Nova remain true to form in their November concerts with the premiere of a new commission by Thomas Wilson set alongside ancient melodies from 9th century — or maybe even earlier- Scotland. Some of the Celtic poems and chants, in praise of St Kentigern and St Columba, are receiving their first modern performance. The Wilson. like the Requiem by Duruﬂe which completes the programme, uses not Scottish plainsong. but themes from Gregorian chants.
‘It is,‘ says Wilson ‘a kind of condensed Passion with six numbers in total. Three use the plainsong in its original form — I‘ve not monkeyed about with it or anything— and the other three are polyphonic settings ofthe same thing.‘ Wilson has selected key episodes of the Passion story — Palm Sunday when Jesus is ? acclaimed by the crowds. Holy Thursday and the betrayal ofJesus and. finally. Easter Sunday.
‘The idea. really.‘ he says ‘is to establish that. although separate. they are in fact inwardly congruent.‘ In spite of its Spanish title. (‘antigas para Semana Santa (Songs for Holy Week) , there is no obvious Spanish influence. the name deriving from the composer‘s recent visit to his Spanish retreat where the work was finished. ‘The Spanish title is a kind of accident.’ says Wilson just hours after returning to Scotland. ‘We found ourselves in Cadiz and then in Jerez in Holy Week of this year and saw that the whole of Spain grinds to a halt with massive civic festivities.
E which we were in the midst of. It gives an extra perspective to it. but you‘d be hard pressed to find anything Iberian about it.‘ (Carol Main)
Cappella Nova play (ireyfriars K irk. Edinburgh on Fri 6 and Glasgow
, Universin Chapel on Sat 7.
28The List 6— 19 November 1992
ofoppo- I I
Craig McLean discusses
the politics of dancing with
Consolidated’s Adam Sherburne.
‘Is he with an airline?‘ asks the silky receptionist at New York‘s Omni Park Central hotel as we seek out Adam Sherburne. ‘No.‘ I reply. ‘he‘s with an agit rap. middle digit rock. coolly legit. clankmetal bulletin board. Honest.‘
‘Where is he from. Virginia‘."
‘Nope. he comes from Oregon. but the band were formed in San Francisco. and their record labels are in Vancouver and Brussels. . .‘
And right now Adam Sherburne and his colleagues are in Amsterdam. not New York. as the Consolidated beat manifesto finds fear and favour in foreign territories. The Americas. home of the brave. land ofthe free. cannot contain Consolidated. And nor should they. Consolidated have the messages and the bottle to see them through. wherever. whatever the crowd.
‘I reckon you should shut the fuck up and play more music!‘ a fan rants. ; ‘lndustrial music is fascism!‘ ponders g another. ‘This isn‘t a fuckin‘ press conference!‘ offers Duane. l7. geek. This is a Consolidated concert and all % manner oflife (and low-life) is here.
‘We‘re trying not necessarily to just § provoke a response. but to hopefully i instigate a discussion.‘ reasons Sherburne. agent rapaieur. ‘You‘re
pretty much guaranteed to provoke response with just about anything you do because people are brainwashed to devour culture so indiscriminately. so that a group with any sort ofovert political views at all is going to elicit — or provoke is a better term — a response.
‘What we‘re trying to do is make our little platform as over-reduced and simplified to the point of insulting our audience anyway. Then what we‘re trying to do is fill that out with the different shades of opposition and support that is found in the comments ofour audience. . .‘
So. as with their musical and theoretical kinfolk The Disposable Heroes ()f l liphoprisy. the Consolidated live experience provokes cogitation as well as animation. As heard on their recent third album. Play More Music. they pummel out an oil ‘n‘ water mix of television soundbites and chewed-up metal. scouring rap and funk fed through a grinder- all designed to 1 offer as much kinetic sound and fury. ; strength through joy. as possible.
On top of this. Consolidated are not afraid to step back from the fray.
no education. It‘s fucked-up. no
; funny side to it. The idea is that we
opening up their mikes to the crowd. Hence the multi-tongued. multi-opinioned. multi-‘fuck‘s that pepper the album and make the gigs furious. funny. interactive assault courses. Consolidated ‘fans‘ are perfectly willing to tear strips off the band. Consolidated themselves are perfectly aware that the polemics can become too much. They take the piss out of their co-opting by the music industry corporate beast: Consolidated in MTV-plays shocker. Consolidated nicked by the double-edged sword of right-on-ness that expects them to be politically correct in all they do. ‘We‘re hypocrites ofthe left.‘ Sherburne cheerfully admits. ‘lt‘s a bundle ofcontradictions. and that needs to be reﬂected in our opinions. ‘There has to be the comedy as well as the tragic reality of ignorance and oflack ofmeaning in language and
question. but there is a perversely
mesh both together.‘ (Craig McLean) - Consolidated The Venue. Edinburgh 1 on Tue 10 Nov.
which included his acclaimed
Child prodigy. Composer of music ‘too destructive to be played’. Co-lounder of The Velvet Underground. And, since then, the pilot of a sporadically successful and often brilliant cult career. John Cale has just released ‘Fragments 0i A Rainy Season', a stunning live set in which the best of his songs are stripped to the bare bones of incisive piano and elegaic Welsh voice. It follows collaborations with Lou Reed on ‘Songs For Drella’ and Brian Eno on ‘Wrong Way Up' and ‘Words For The Dying', the album
‘Falklands Suite’. Those recordings,
on the Leonard Cohen tribute ‘l'm Your Fan’, have all helped reawaken
interest in Cale, and ‘Fragments 0t A Rainy Season’ coniirms his importance '
3 as a songwriter and performer overthe -
last Mantra“ years. i a concert hall situation.’
‘I don’tthink oi it as a “Best 0i” so
much as a diary of what’s happened in The $00088. Pam Smllh. Squeeze and
the past,’ he says. ‘I didn’t scrutinise it closely. I've been doing that show regularly lor tour years, and I didn't want it to seem as ii I was giving people
The producer of the debut albums by
Happy Mondays, he nevertheless teels
that the years spent in the rock world haven't hindered his career as a
' composer— he has been commissioned
to write several ballets in the last few years— but have brought a certain rigour to his methods. ‘I think what it did was make me a little more efficient
in putting elements together. I don’t Q necessarily work with large orchestras. I like the idea ot a twelve-piece
ensemble that is malleable. ll
; something doesn’t work, you can
change it much quicker that way.’ He's particularly enthusiastic about the idea oi a semi-permanent ensemble since a E recent date in Munich with a string ‘ quartet. ‘We just played the songs the way they are now, with the existing arrangements. We did a lot oi work in l iour days, and I'm sure that it we had about three weeks to work on new stuil : it would come out very well. These guys were very good. I'm surprised how much weight it took oil my shoulders.’ (Alastair Mabbott)
John Cale plays The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh on Mon 16.