Back in 1980 Australian-born art critic, Robert Hughes presented a documentary series entitled The Shock of the New.Tapping into the late 20th-century zeitgeist, there was a presumption that anything new in art must be shocking. We’ve come a long way since then.
This carefully curated program of “new” music basks in the warm, reflected glow of minimalist practice that has evolved over the last five decades. Nothing shocking here – rather the music shows how durable and flexible minimalism can be.
Pekka Kuusisto and Nico Muhly. Photograph © Prudence Upton
Under the dynamic leadership of violinist, Pekka Kuusisto, the ACO Collective (players from the Australian Chamber Orchestra together with members of its Emerging Artists Program) played with an impressive combination of accuracy, colour and energy to communicate an exhilarating joie de vivre at the heart of the chosen music.
A Drone Meditation served as a prelude to Steve Reich’s Duet, in which Kuusisto and fellow violinist, Harry Ward shone as soloists, supported by an admirably buoyant orchestral accompaniment. The score’s intricacies of rhythm, harmony and texture were delivered with enviable clarity.
Missy Mazzoli’s You Know Me From Here(arranged for strings from the original...