The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) has recruited over 300 Londoners to take part in the UK premiere of David Lang’s the public domain in conjunction with the London Symphony Chorus and LSO Community Choir. The 500-person strong choir will fill the foyers of the Barbican with a multitude of voices on 24 March 2019. People from every London postcode who had never sung before to professionals were all invited to join. Rehearsals are under way.
This special choral event will open a London Symphony Orchestra concert, which explores the use of space in the performance of live music. The inspiration for the piece – written by American composer David Lang in 2016 – developed from Lang’s search for a way to capture shared experiences through music. He typed ‘One thing we all have is our …’ into the search engine Google, then used the auto-fill function to see how people around the world completed the sentence, and with the findings composed the piece. Simon Halsey, Chorus Director of the LSO said as the orchestra set about recruiting the huge choir: “This is an accessible, compelling and hugely enjoyable opportunity to create fascinating musical textures on an enormous scale. We are looking for anyone from regular choir members to shower singers, to people who haven’t sung before but want to try something new. A once in a lifetime chance to explore a unique piece of music as part of a 500-strong group.”
the public domain is immediately followed by a performance of Philippe Manoury’s Ring, in which members of the LSO perform as they encircle the audience entering the Barbican Hall, creating an extraordinary and energetically disorienting sound experience. After the interval the programme is completed by the world premiere of a new work – Kafka’s Dream – by Panufnik Composers Scheme alumnus Donghoon Shin, and closes with Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy, an ethereal work exploring new modes of tonality, conducted by LSO Principal Guest Conductor François-Xavier Roth.