Omnibus: Towards Antara

  |  Book Tickets: 11/05/2012
  |  70 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Featuring rehearsal scenes and conversations from the composer himself, this fascinating documentary from 1987 throws light on the making of George Benjamin's pioneering work Antara. Film maker Barrie Gavin captures the process of making that piece, involving an ensemble augmented by ancient panpipes whose sound is transformed by computer technology. Talking about the piece George Benjamin explains that 'long held notes [on the panpipe] are impossible, as are large chords. Even some melodic lines cause considerable difficulty as, on larger tubes, they have to be shared between two or more players. 'The computer can solve all these problems and more, and so in this piece the sound of the oldest of all wind instruments has been recorded and transferred to the most modern of computers, initially the IRCAM 4X, creating an instrument ranging from the equivalent of panpipes 20 metres high to pipes of only a few millimetres. These are played via two Yamaha keyboards, which are surrounded by an ensemble of fourteen players.' The work was commissioned by Pierre Boulez to mark the 10th anniversary of his experimental music centre, IRCAM, at the Pompidou in Paris.