In Grieghallen´s basement rehearsal room, figures in tattered grey sing Händel as they shuffle towards a table where soup is ladled from a vast battered pot. The scene is bleak. We are in Ireland – or it could be Norway – in some kind of timeless misery with freezing weather and famine, where the country´s distant officials have long ceased to care, and where the church is struggling between old-school hell-fire authority and its need to offer succour.
Tan Dun´s music always attracts a polemic clash between those who love the exotic carpet of sounds, and those who take issue with his East/West collision of styles and his unabashed contradictions in expressing musical traditions. The argument has long raged between cultural commentators: whether East and West should attempt to blur the edges of […]