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Orlando Gough on HMS Belfast

Orlando Gough on HMS Belfast

Lead by Composer Orlando Gough and commissioned by The Thames Festival Trust for The Mayor’s Thames Festival, performed on HMS Belfast in association with The Imperial War Museum

‘Not many musicians have the idea of turning an old warship into a giant percussion instrument and Orlando Gough’s Transmission for HMS Belfast proves him to be one of the most inventive and spectacular composers out there’ Louise Gray, writer and critic.

Transmission 2011: High up on the upper decks of HMS Belfast two percussionists performed a three-minute intense, virtuosic duet in military snare drum style. But instead of snare drums they played on parts of the ship, to create a short, sharp drumming conversation of epic proportions. Commissioned by The Thames Festival 2011.

XX Scharnhorst 2012: This years large-scale project culminated at The Thames Festival 2012 and featured up to 90 amateur singers including a German choir and a women’s choir, with members from London some of whom are Russian. The performance also included 15 talented young male percussionists from Young Guildhall. Responding to HMS Belfast’s monumental and haunting past, leading Arctic Convoys in the Second World War, the new composition by Orlando Gough with Director Emma Bernard, concentrated on the ship’s involvement in the sinking of the German ship, The Scharnhorst, on Christmas Day 1943. Exploring themes of mothers and sons through lullabies and laments from the women’s Choir to depictions by the young percussionists of bravery and the hell of battle.

Click here to see the youtube film of Transmission 2011

Supported by The Arts Council of England (2012), The Mayor’s Thames Festival, The Imperial War Museum 

  • When 2011 & 2012


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