3 Commissions

Mira Calix

3 Commissions

14/01/2009
"3 Commissions" by Mira Calix is out now. A mini-album running at 36 minutes, the record features pieces specifically commissioned from her by Geneva's Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, London's Royal Festival Hall and The Barbican, and includes two contrasting versions of 'NuNu', her ground breaking interplay between human and insect worlds.

NuNu stems from a unique music festival at Geneva¹s Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, where Mira Calix was commissioned to compose a piece of music using recordings of insect noises provided by the museum. "There are more insects on earth than any other living species" she says, "and having the opportunity to mould all the amazing and beautiful noises they make into something other really appealed to me.²

The orchestral version of Nunu and Mira Calix made their live debut together at The Royal Festival Hall on 8 March that year as part of the Ether Festival where she performed the track with living insects on stage in a collaboration with The London Sinfonietta. Mira worked and rehearsed with the Sinfonietta and their musical directors Sound Intermedia to create an entirely new arrangement of the piece. This stunning interplay between live insects and the neo-classical strains of The Sinfonietta is also captured on the album.

The third commission dates from earlier this year, when she was asked to compose a piece for the reopening of the Barbican's art gallery for the first retrospective of Helen Chadwick¹s work and an exhibit of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti's Mexican Years photographic work. An installation in the conservatory adjoining the gallery space, 'Le Jardin de Barbican (track 6) ran in a continuous loop with speakers hidden among the tropical plants.


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