Manchester Collective interrogate the darker side of our urban dreams in Neon – a new show featuring daring collaborations with high-profile composers and electronic artists, including new music from Emmy-nominated and RTS-winning composer Hannah Peel andBerlin-based multidisciplinary artist Lyra Pramuk, alongside works by Steve Reich and Julius Eastman.

A place of mystery where anything is possible, Neon promises to take audiences on a sonic journey of discovery through sleepless nights and crowded streets. Newly commissioned works lie at the heart of the programme, with composer Hannah Peel’s titular Neon – commissioned by Manchester Collective and premiered at Kings Place in 2021 – at its core. Inspired by light and life, the piece fuses layers of live electronics and field recordings from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station with the acoustic performances of the Collective.

The show also sees the world premiere of Lyra Pramuk’s Quanta, the artist’s first major chamber commission and her first foray into the classical world. Known for fusing classical vocalism with pop sensibilities, contemporary club culture and futurist folk music, Lyra’s new piece for Manchester Collective is a meditation on the nature of time, memory and human experience. Taking inspiration from Carlo Rovelli’s critically acclaimed book ‘The Order of Time’, Quanta expands on philosophical notions of time and light with a sensual music score for violin, cello, flute, clarinet and vibraphone.

Opening the show in London, Nottingham and Leeds, The Age of Spiritual Machines is a new work for strings, electronics and two dancers by composer Daniel Elms and choreographer Alexander Whitley, exploring the relationship between music, movement and technology.

Completing the programme are two masterworks of minimalism – Steve Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, monumental Double Sextet and Julius Eastman’s much-maligned 1974 work Joy Boy.

Violinist and Music Director Rakhi Singh said: ‘Neon takes inspiration from three of the world’s major cities – New York, Tokyo and London. Just as we go into nature to feel the wonders of the natural world, we venture into the urban to witness the awesome scale of human invention. The metropolis is infused with a distinct energy that courses through the veins of the city day and night – glaring lights, grit and toil, industrialisation and all the varying colours of urban life are explored in this programme.’

Tickets for Neon can be found on the Manchester Collective website: manchestercollective.co.uk/neon

Neon UK Tour 2022

14 May – London – Southbank Centre

15 May – Bristol – Strange Brew

18 May – Nottingham – Lakeside Arts

19 May – Leeds – Howard Assembly Room

20 May – Salford – The White Hotel

21May – Birkenhead – Future Yard

22 May – Stockport – Where The Light Gets In (Sold Out)

Programme

Lyra Pramuk – ­­Quanta (World Premiere)

Hannah Peel –­ Neon

Julius Eastman – Joy Boy

Steve Reich – Double Sextet

Daniel Elms / Alexander Whitley – The Age of Spiritual Machines (World Premiere) – 14, 18, 19 May only

Line-up

Violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, live electronics



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