When a twenty-minute piece takes two weeks to rehearse is an audience robbed of some of the richness of their experience by not witnessing that creative journey? For 48 Hours, Vonnegut Collective worked collaboratively with composer Tullis Rennie. Together they documented the trajectory of the rehearsal process and the motivations of the performers as the group tackled their most challenging work to date - Thomas Adès’s Piano Quintet. Recordings from rehearsals and interviews with players are woven through improvised interpretations of a new graphic score for the quintet, combined with trumpet and electronics. In 48 Hours, Rennie and the Vonnegut Collective play with perspective, observation and interpersonal experience, providing the listener with a unique insight into contemporary music making.
Vonnegut Collective is a multifaceted ensemble, making new music and telling stories through creative collaborations with artists from a broad range of genres in the concert hall and the community.
Formed in 2014 by two members of the BBC Philharmonic, we aim to explore and create new music in a way that is relevant to all. Our carefully crafted recitals and community work facilitate creative music-making, storytelling and free expression through structured and improvised sound, giving everyone the chance to experience new music, their music, either made by them or for them.
Tullis Rennie is a composer, improvising trombonist, electronic musician and field recordist.
"...Rennie foregrounds the act of listening as an active component in the creation of musical experience” - The Wire Magazine
His work has been presented at concerts and festivals across 20 countries worldwide, alongside UK national broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and ResonanceFM.
He is co-founder of Walls On Walls with visual artist Laurie Nouchka, and a member of the Insectotròpics audio-visual collective, based in Barcelona. He curates the multi.modal label with Claudia Molitor.
His writing has been published in Organised Sound and Leonardo Music Journal. He features on releases by the Luminous label, ZeroWave and Efpi Records.
He is currently Senior Lecturer in Music at City, University of London. He completed a PhD in Composition at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast.
Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. Renowned as both composer and performer, he works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies and festivals.
His compositions include three operas : the most recent of which The Exterminating Angel premiered at the 2016 Salzburg Festival and subsequently has been performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and the Royal Opera House, London all conducted by the composer; The Tempest (Royal Opera House and Metropolitan Opera); and Powder Her Face. His orchestral works include Asyla (CBSO, 1997), Tevot (Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, 2007), Polaris (New World Symphony, Miami 2011), Violin Concerto Concentric Paths (Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, 2005), In Seven Days (Piano concerto with moving image - LA Philharmonic and RFH London 2008), Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and orchestra (BBC Proms, 2013), and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (Boston Symphony Orchestra, 2019). His compositions also include numerous celebrated chamber and solo works.
Thomas Adès has been an Artistic Partner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2016 and will conduct the orchestra in Boston and at Tanglewood, perform chamber music with the orchestra players, and lead the summer Festival of Contemporary Music. He coaches Piano and Chamber Music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.
As a conductor, Thomas appears regularly with the Los Angeles, San Francisco and London Philharmonic orchestras, the Boston, London, BBC and City of Birmingham, Symphony orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouworkest, Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Czech Philharmonic. In opera, in addition to The Exterminating Angel, he has conducted The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House and the Zürich Opera, The Tempest at the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera, and Gerald Barry’s latest opera Alice’s Adventures Under Ground in Los Angeles (world premiere) and in London (European premiere). In the 2019-20 season Thomas has a residency with the Royal Concertgebouworkest and also conducts the London and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras and makes his debut with Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the USA, he returns to the Los Angeles and Boston Symphony Orchestras. Thomas also returns to the Royal Opera House twice this season, to conduct Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and the premiere of his new ballet The Dante Project.
His piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), New York and the Wigmore Hall in London, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic. This season will see the release of his album of solo piano music by Janacek and he will also join Simon Keenlyside in a recital of Schubert’s Winterreise at the Vienna State Opera.
His many awards include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for Asyla, The Tempest and Tevot; and Ernst von Siemens Composers' prize for Arcadiana; British Composer Award for The Four Quarters. His CD recording of The Tempest from the Royal Opera House (EMI) won the Contemporary category of the 2010 Gramophone Awards; his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année (2013), Best Opera recording (2014 Grammy Awards) and Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014 ECHO Klassik Awards); and The Exterminating Angel won the World Premiere of the Year at the International Opera Awards (2017). In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize and in Spring 2020 he will receive the Toru Takemitsu composition award at Tokyo Opera City where he will conduct a concert of his own music.
released May 28, 2021
Caroline Pether - violin 1
Gemma Bass - violin 2
Kay Stephen - viola
Paul Grennan - cello
Ben Powell - piano
Gary Farr - trumpet
Tullis Rennie - composition (1-8), electronics
Thomas Adès - composition (9).
Recorded at City, University of London, on the 3rd and 4th of November 2020.
Recorded and Produced by Mark Knoop
Mastered by Stephen Rinker
Graphic design by Rutger Zuydervelt, based on the score for 48 Hours.
Made possible by:
Arts Council England
Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.