Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival | Laurence Osborn: Essential Relaxing Classical Hits
Laurence Osborn’s collaboration with Ensemble Klang came out of their performance at hcmf// 2018, where the composer witnessed what he described as ‘the loudest performance I’ve seen at the festival’. He goes well together with Klang, feeling an inescapable natural link between his bombastic music and their ‘garish set-up’ of trombones, saxophones and electric guitars – instruments that squeal and provoke. And so of course he’s named his new piece – which combines his acerbic, emphatic music with an elemental, spun-out ensemble – Essential Relaxing Classical Hits.
Osborn’s music has long been a space for the composer to explore – and commiserate about – the world that it’s mapped onto. Following on from 2017’s CTRL, which used the Riot Ensemble as a vehicle to eviscerate ideals of masculinity, Essential Relaxing Classical Hits is a bitter case study into our personal trials with late capitalism, detailing our collective transformation into objects of mass exploitation, dehumanisation and commodification. The piece, smiling through gritted teeth, reimagines Pachebel’s Canon, Air on a G String and Au Clair de Lune as mined-for resources, stripped of history and identity, way out of character but just there, in the mix, and very much for sale.
Essential Relaxing Classical Hits is co-commissioned by November Music and hcmf//