The MIDI-harp, a “revolutionary” new digital musical instrument, was premiered at a special event earlier this week.
Harpist Sioned Williams and the BBC Symphony Orchestra performed a specially-commissioned concerto to showcase the innovative new instrument at the BBC Maida Vale Studio 1 on January 26th.
The performance is due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Afternoon on 3 programme on February 1st.
No Doubt, a concerto written by composer Graham Fitkin, showcased the features of the MIDI-harp, which allows players to play natural sounds that trigger simultaneous recorded sounds including dialogue.
Ms Williams, principal harpist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the last two decades, played in the performance, which includes dialogue from former US president George Bush.
Mr Fitkin told the BBC that the ability of the instrument to draw on recorded samples and MIDI effects means the “archetypal western perspective of the harp and its associated heavenly docility can be turned on its head”.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra is set to perform a number of concerts next month as part of the 2010-11 Barbican Season. The run will see the Silk Street venue in central London play host to a number of performances showcasing a catalogue of pieces from top composers.
Wednesday February 2nd will see the orchestra take to the stage to play numbers composed by Mahler and Mozart, while February 11th will see the ensemble return for the Sibelius and Detlev Glanert concert.
A performance of Tchaikovsky and Schnittke’s Faust Cantata, will then take place on February 18th and the month’s proceedings will be brought to a close on February 26th when the orchestra returns to the Barbican for the Total Immersion: Brian Ferneyhough concert.
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