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Max Richter's 'Infra' - played by The 12 Ensemble@Barbican / musicOMH review

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The Barbican's Sounds & Visions weekend promised(London) "a journey into music, image and their meeting points in today's culture", with the opening event featuring co-curator Max Richter‘s 2010 Infra album played in full by The 12 Ensemble. There were also performances by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Jlin to form an appealingly diverse line up. Richter appeared on stage earlier to explain he and fellow curator, artist Yulia Mahr, had simply chosen musicians they'd quite like to hear.

Out of all names associated with modern classical music Max Richter is the one most driven by bigger projects and concepts. His 2015 piece Sleep was over eight hours long and was intended to be listened to at night while sleeping. He's also scored ballets (Woolf Works), re-envisaged the work of traditional big-name composers (Vivaldi Reimagined) and released music as a protest against war (The Blue Notebooks). It is also seen in the origins of Infra – a piece written in response to the terrorist attacks on the London Underground in July 2005 (Infra means ‘below' in Latin). It was originally composed for a dance work choreographed by Wayne McGregor, but tonight is performed by Richter on piano/electronics and 12 Ensemble (a London-based strong orchestra). In his introduction Richter describes it as "travel music" and containing "Schubert atoms."

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