London-based new music collective, Workers Union Ensemble, want your help to select the winner of its call for new works competition.
This group of musicians got together at Guildhall School of Music through a shared passion for new music. The Ensemble comprises oboe, saxophone, piano, double bass, percussion and a conductor – not your average orchestral group. They encountered a shortage of pieces suitable for them to play and so conceived the Extending a Repertoire tour and, with a grant from the PRS Music Foundation, commissioned some brand new compositions. First, from their Composer-in-Association Matthew Kaner, who aside from composing for London Symphony Orchestra and others, now teaches at both King's College London and Guildhall. Then to "the best thing to come out of Neasden since Twiggy" (according to Gramophone) the "unignorable" Joe Cutler and Daniel Saleeb, who has created music for London theatre and film, and even a piece for the organ at Westminster Abbey.
Next, the Ensemble put out an open, international call for three minute new compositions. Submissions were received from around the globe and the shortlisted four will be performed on Saturday, with the audience voting for their favourite in the interval to determine the winner.
Not sure about contemporary classical music? Workers Union Ensemble played at Nonclassical in September, one of the gigs we sent volunteer samplers to. Their feedback was that the music was "far out" but enjoyably diverse, and the experience was stimulating and fun. The gig at beautiful LSO St. Luke's this Saturday has a similarly mixed bill of short pieces so if there's something you don't like, something new will be along soon. Ben Oliver, the conductor, tell us that although it is a sit-down concert, all the pieces will be introduced so you know what's going on and they're aiming for an informal, fun and interactive atmosphere – much more of a cultural adventure and test of musical judgement than staying home and voting for X-Factor, we're sure.
Workers Union Ensemble play LSO St Luke's on Saturday 9 November at 7.30pm. Tickets £10, £5 concessions (+bkg).
Photos via Workers Unions Ensemble Facebook page.