Tomorrow's a big day. A huge day. Southbank Centre's The Rest Is Noise Festival starts tomorrow!
I don't know about you but I'm terribly excited. As soon as I read Jude Kelly's (Artistic Director and curator of The Rest Is Noise festival) words, "...how do you get people to fall in love with classical music, and how do you get people who love classical music to fall in love with contemporary classical music?" I was instantly captivated, because from the very beginning when I became enthralled in the world of contemporary classical music, I have always asked this question.
The answer to this problem in 2007? Alex Ross's The Rest Is Noise (which inspired this festival, obviously). This book changed my life, and when I started college it was the textbook for our historical studies class. Coincidentally, the class was supposed to catapult freshers into this 'bizarre' world of the post-war avant-garde, and the less bizarre and tolerable (e.g. minimalism). Some students couldn't handle it and have been put off ever since, but most students left these series of lectures a lot more open-minded and willing to accept contemporary music for what it is/was. At the end of the day, The Rest Is Noise was like a translation for people to understand music in a different way by revealing its history, especially this era in music which was fundamentally affected by the war - the turbulence, the emotional and physical pain, and the warring political philosophies.
The festival features nearly 100 events, spanning a whole year, and includes talks, films, performances, participation events and concerts, all exploring 20th century classical music in the context of historical, political and cultural upheavals. The Festival not only explores pre-war/ post-war music, but also celebrates Benjamin Britten's centenary (presented by Jurowski/LPO). There will also be a screening of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey (famous in the music world for using Ligeti's music) with live accompaniment presented by the resident orchestra of the Royal Festival Hall, the Philharmonic Orchestra!
Trailer to the Festival- set to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (very fitting I think)
Gillian Moore's (Head of Contemporary Culture at the Southbank) playlist for the opening part of the festival, 'Here Comes the 20th Century'