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avid Bowie/Brian Eno Warszawa*
Claude Vivier Do You Believe In The Immortality Of The Soul?
Hildegard of Bingen O Orzchis Ecclesia; O Virga Mediatrix*
Paul Vernon’s Hildegard (film)

Interval 20 minutes

Iannis Xenakis Nuits
Laurence Osborn ELITE
Gwilym Bowen as vocalist

Interval 20 minutes

Hildegard of Bingen Nunc Apervit Nobis; Quia Ergo Femina*
Cocteau Twins Heaven Or Las Vegas†
Talking Heads Double Groove†
The Police Masoko Tanga†
Talking Heads Crosseyed And Painless†
Talking Heads The Great Curve†
Talking Heads I Zimbra†
Love Ssega as vocalist

Arranged by Joe Bates

Arranged by Emma-Jean Thackray

Filthy Lucre relies on funding and donations. Without the generosity
of Arts Council England, tickets to this event would cost £40. On top
of this grant, we are obliged to raise £650. If you are interested
in supporting us, visit the merchandise table, where you can make
purchases or donations. Alternatively, vist
William Cole conducts

Soprano Patricia Auchterlonie
Josephine Stephenson
Rebecca Hardwick
Alto Katie Schofield
Eleanor Dann
Jessica Dandy
Tenor Oliver Brignall (soloist in Do You Believe...)
John Clapham
Benedict Collins Rice
Gwilym Bowen (soloist in ELITE)
Bass Daniel D’Souza
Geoff Clapham
Chris Webb
Keyboard Jo Havlat
Thomas Ang
Ben Smith
Percussion George Barton

Artistic Director Joe Bates
Co-founder Anthony Friend
Producer Hanna Grzeskiewicz
Graphics Georgia Hicks
David Bowie based the vocal melody for Warszawa on a recording
of a Polish folk choir he found on a fleeting trip to Warsaw in 1976.
He was left with a bleak impression of the city’s recovery from the
Second World War. His work uses nonsense, cod-Slavic syllables that
capture his mystification. The synthesised hymn Brian Eno wrote in
response uses randomised numbers to create a sense of dislocation
and unpredictability beneath its simple contours.
Joe Bates’s arrangement contributes a new texture: the choir sings
through a vocoder, transforming deep breaths and scattered letters
into a strange, breathing, talking synth sound.

Invented language runs throughout Claude Vivier’s work. It is used
to evoke a ‘universal outsider’ by creating a language that is equally
incomprehensible to everybody. This echoes Vivier’s sense of himself
as an outsider: as a gay man, as an orphan, as a sufferer of abuse.
But it also reflects an optimistic view of himself as an itinerant, a
traveller; a modern, polyglot Marco Polo, and of the society that
could be created through the direct expression of emotion.
In Do You Believe In The Immortality Of The Soul?, it seems as if
the solo tenor is seeking an adequate expression of his search for
love. When he is asked to sing a love song, he replies with a mix of
impassioned invented language, and romantic clichés in English and
German. The piece then takes a darker turn, with a soprano singing
of her alienation while a speaker narrates his death at the hands of
a magnetic young man he meets on the metro.
The piece is unfinished: it stops abruptly after the narrator describes
his own death. This was due to Vivier’s death at the hands of a
man he had taken home. Friends believed the work reflected Vivier’s
increasingly reckless sex life and his pessimism following the end of
a promising relationship.
Hildegard of Bingen was a medieval mystic, philosopher, composer,
botanist and much else besides. As Abbess of her own monastery,
she led nuns in the creation of devotional music, theatre and art.
These were often inspired by her ecstatic visions of the divine, which
she described in a number of theological works.
Hildegard created her own language, the Lingua Ignota, for which this
event is named. Its glossary of beautiful words and its elegant script
seems to have been used to convey the mystery of divine revelation
and to bind the nuns together in an esoteric community. These two
chants are both works in which Hildegard employed her invented
language. O Orzchis Ecclesia uses several words from her lingua ig-
nota to contribute to its dramatic exultation, while O Virga Mediatrix
used aspects of Hildegard’s script, litturae ignotae, in its manuscript.
Both have been arranged with synthesiser accompaniment. We know
little of how the songs were originally accompanied, though Hildegard
mentions psalteries and monochords in other contexts in her manu-
scripts. These conspicuously modern arrangements are designed to
play with the assumptions of performance practice of ancient music.

Of his film, director Paul Vernon says “Hildegard shows the viewer
a narrative of the mind that is primarily sensory, that uses duration
and colour (or lack thereof) as a tool to build and reduce a visual
palette. While making it, I would tell myself: ‘this is the beginning
and the end of the world, simultaneously, in this moment witnessed
by Hildegard.’ Unhinged time and infinite possibility; reality, shapes,
heaven, hell, all blending in front of her eyes. My concept of the
visions hold a balance between frightening images mortal eyes don’t
see and an incalculable beauty. I wanted to try to discover these in
the manipulation of common elements of the world: water, light, fire,
skies, snow… perhaps.”
Iannis Xenakis was first an anti-fascist partisan, then a Brutalist archi-
tect, and finally one of Europe’s leading modernist composers. Traces
of both of his former lives are found in his work.
He is best known for his architectural, stochastic approach to mak-
ing music. He often sketched scores on graph paper, using a mul-
titude of straight lines (created by sliding voices, strings and brass)
to create larger curves. This has led to a focus on the fascinating
mathematics of his work.
But there is something else alongside this, which surfaces clearly in
Nuits, the opening page of which includes a heartfelt dedication to
prisoners of war, ‘whose very names are lost’. Nuits evokes these un-
known names with ancient Sumerian and Persian phonemes. Xenakis
thought it was ‘nonsensical to set meaningful text to music, because
one can’t make out what’s being sung;’ instead, the emotion is con-
veyed through the piece’s structure and tone.
The clamour of voices in this work calls to mind his declaration: ‘In
all my music, there is the anguish of my youth, of the (Greek anti-fas-
cist) resistance, and the aesthetic problems they posed, together with
the gigantic street demonstrations or the rarefied mysterious noises,
the mortal noises of the cold nights of December 1944 in Athens.’

Laurence Osborn writes: ‘ELITE is about the communal vocabular-
ies constructed in so-called ‘high art’ cultural traditions, and their
contribution to the annexation of these traditions. It is written both
in disgust at the self-satisfied faux-grandiosity and opulence of the
scene that we work in, and in recognition of the composer’s, perform-
ers’, and audiences’ complicity. ELITE includes three arias by Mozart,
Purcell, and Monteverdi, whose texts and musical material have been
mangled beyond recognition. All of the musical and textual vocab-
ularies in this piece have been constructed from the dismembered
parts of these arias.’
These chants by Hildegard are taken from her collection in honour
of the Virgin Mary. Their praise of the creative power of femininity
seems appropriate given Hildegard’s gender and the ramifications it
had on her working life. Her position as Abbess was hard-won, but it
gave her a position not only of power, but of financial and creative
independence. Her visions further licensed creative experimentation,
as idiosyncrasies could be explained as divinely inspired.

Cocteau Twins were a Scottish band active in the 80s and 90s whose
famously mumbled, abstruse vocal style resists interpretation. Lead
singer Elizabeth Fraser’s style evokes the unclear style of much rock,
but goes further, into fully realised nonsense. She gave numerous
explanations. Sometimes she was “just feeling into a fucking micro-
phone”, other times taking words, “maybe seen written down… in
a language that I don’t understand, and liking them… and maybe...
making new words as well out of them.”

No final explanation has been found for the bizarre lyrics of Masoko
Tanga. No official lyric-sheet was included in the English release; in
Japan, an English translator transcribed the nonsense into something
vaguely comprehensible and a footnote was included noting that the
song ‘illustrates the negative effects of drug use’.
These four songs are taken from Fear of Music (1979) and Remain
In Light (1980). In these albums, David Byrne was influenced by
free-association writing, resulting in digressive, stream-of-conscious-
ness lyrics.
I Zimbra is a setting of Hugo Ball’s nonsense poem, Gadji Beri Bimba.
Ball was a Dada artist who developed some of the first sound po-
etry, which aims at pushing meaning beyond what can be expressed
through conventional language.
This setting had a substantial impact on Byrne’s lyrics for his subse-
quent album, Remain In Light, and combined with a strong influence
from African popular music, mythology and anthropology. One gets
the feeling that what Byrne took from African pop was not just a
sound, but a feeling of incomprehension, of emotion evoked but not
While this interest sometimes took a faintly exoticist tone (after all,
the music he was interested does have comprehensible lyrics), the
musical success of the album’s interlocking riffs, overlapping rhythms
and associative lyrics is beyond doubt.
Composer and conductor William Cole was born in London in
1990. He recently made his debut with the Royal Northern Sinfonia
conducting Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee at the Sage Gateshead, and
has conducted at international festivals and venues including the
Cadogan Hall, Dartington International Summer School, Royaumont
and London Sinfonietta Academy. Recent opera work includes Mozart
Così fan tutte and Handel Acis and Galatea (Opera Lyrica), Mozart
Don Giovanni and Dove Flight (Royal Academy Opera, assistant con-
ductor) and Chabrier Une Education Manquée (Pop-Up Opera). He is
Music Director of Filthy Lucre, an immersive mixed-genre night with
whom he has worked with artists from dance, film, and performance
poetry in music from Xenakis to The Clash.
Oliver Brignall is a tenor whose roles have included Spirito/Pastore
in L’Orfeo at the Bayerische Staatsoper and Harry in Puccini’s La
fanciulla del West at Opera Holland Park, where he is soon to sing
Cavalier Faidit in Mascagni’s Isabeau. As a composer, he was V&A
Artist in residence in 2017/18, resulting in his opera Roles, and LSO
Soundhub Associate from 2017-19 (new work: I Do Need Me), with
his opera Palace of Junk forming part of Mahogany Opera’s ‘Various
Stages 2017’ festival.
Josephine Stephenson is a Franco-British composer and performer.
As a soprano, she was a soloist in Tom Phillips’s IRMA with Apartment
House and in Philip Glass’s Music in Twelve Parts at the Barbican,
as well as performing with ensembles like Tenebrae and EXAUDI. She
is one of the three artistic directors of London-based concert series
and record label Listenpony. Her music has been commissioned by
the BBC, Radio France, Spitalfields Music and Nonclassical.
Australian pianist and composer Joseph Havlat is a keen chamber
musician, performing frequently with multiple groups – Tritium (clari-
net) trio, Trio Derazey and Duo Ex Libris. He is a founding member
and artistic director of contemporary music collective Ensemble x.y.
Upcoming projects include performances of concertos by Finnissy
and Ligeti, and a tour of Japan with the LSO Percussion Ensemble
playing music by John Adams and Steve Reich. He has studied with
Prof. Joanna MacGregor at the Royal Academy of Music since 2012.
Thomas Ang is a pianist who also writes poetry and piano tran-
scriptions of songs and symphonies. He has worked with composers
Oliver Knussen, John Adams and Nikolai Kapustin in playing their mu-
sic, and played in classes by Stephen Hough, Pierre-Laurent Aimard,
Imogen Cooper, Kathryn Stott and Yevgeny Sudbin. Thomas performs
as part of several contemporary-music ensembles, including playing
John Cage at the Purcell Room in 2013 and two programmes of
Boulez’s music at the 2015 Aldeburgh Music Festival. With his piano
duo he recently performed the complete non-sonata piano works of
Boulez, including the two books of Structures, in Australia and the
Tenor Gwilym Bowen performs internationally with orchestras and
ensembles of the highest calibre, and has recently been signed to
artist management agency Harrison Parrott. Collaborators have in-
cluded the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of
Englightenment, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Dunedin Con-
sort and Bach cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki at the Lincoln Center.
A passionate proponent of new music, Bowen has created the roles
of Tamino in Be With Me Now at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence,
with performances at La Philharmonie de Paris, La Monnaie and the
National Opera of Poland, the protagonists in two operas by Kate
Whitley, Unknown Position and 0520, and Smith in Matt Rogers’ and
Sally O’Reilly’s And London Burned.
Ben Smith is a London-based composer and performer specialising
in contemporary music. He is interested in – amongst other things –
phenomenological and semiotic approaches to musical analysis, and
compositional encounters with silence and repetition. Ben graduated
from City University in 2015, and currently studies at Guildhall School
of Music & Drama with Rolf Hind and Laurence Crane.
Love Ssega is an artist and songwriter who loves music, coloured
shirts and Talking Heads. His solo music is a mixture of pop, funk
and his East African heritage and has had wide support, from
Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 to electronic/dance bible Mixmag. He
has his own 5 piece band and has performed internationally, hav-
ing co-written and co-produced Mozart’s House by Clean Bandit.
He was Clean Bandit’s original vocalist/songwriter and a founder
member of the band.
Joe Bates is a composer and artistic director whose work chal-
lenges the gaps between genres. He brought himself up on modern
orchestral classics and studied at the University of Cambridge, but
spent the rest of his time listening to rock, electronic music and
hip hop. From university onwards, he played in bands, MD’d a drag
group, played open mics and covertly mixed singer-songwriting with
symphonic works and opera. These influences come together in his
music and in the mixed-genre music night he co-founded, Filthy
Lucre. Upcoming premieres include MATA Festival in New York and
Occupy the Pianos in London.
Director Paul Vernon looks for spontaneity in the images he cre-
ates and finds; something profound often in layers of the mundane
or colour and composition out of the ordinary. He aims to cross
boundaries of fiction and documentary, often unsure which his work
is falling into, but relishing the two; combining the moving with the
still image and an approach to cinema informed from an innate in-
stinct for the mysterious, a lust for artistic knowledge and visual sen-
sitivity. He is fascinated in his research with painters such as Caspar
David Friedrich, filmmakers such as Rivette, Tarkosky and Antonioni
as well as photographic aesthetics. Paul’s films have been in official
selections internationally at the LA County Museum of Art, San Diego
Comic-Con and Artists Forum Festival of Moving Image in New York.
He has screened in the UK at BAFTA as an opening film, Zealous X
(Southbank exhibition) and at the ICA for London Short Film Festival.
Composer Laurence Osborn read Music at Hertford College, Ox-
ford, studying Composition with Martyn Harry and Martin Suckling.
He then studied for an MMus in Composition with Kenneth Hesketh
at the Royal College of Music, London, supported by an RVW Trust
Scholarship and graduating with Distinction in 2013. From 2013-14,
Laurence was resident on the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO
Soundhub Scheme, where he studied with Julian Anderson. Laurence
then went on to study for an MA in Opera Making and Writing with
Julian Philips at The Guildhall School of Music, generously supported
by The Leverhulme Arts Scholarship. He graduated with Distinction in
2015, and held the position of Artist Fellow in Composition for the
following year. In September 2018, he will begin studying for a PhD
at Kings College London, supervised by Sir George Benjamin.
Emma-Jean Thackray is a multi-award winning composer, producer,
arranger and instrumentalist. Her recent WALRUS EP, described by
Rhythm Section as “one of the most exciting and unique jazz records
of 2016”, received great underground acclaim and frequent radio
play, including from Gilles Peterson on BBC Radio 6 Music and on
Jazz FM.
Both solo and with her band WALRUS, Emma-Jean has performed
internationally, at renowned festivals and live on radio stations such
as Red Bull Radio, Worldwide FM and Le Melletron. Throughout 2018
she is set to release new material and produce several unique con-
cert experiences as part of a partnership with the London Symphony
Orchestra and St Luke’s. Having recently sold out popular London
jazz series, Church of Sound, her performance in the Elgar Room
promises to be a unmissable night.