Ether 2011: Get to know Colin Currie

Colin Currie, photo: Chris Dawes
Colin Currie, photo: Chris Dawes

The Colin Currie Group are returning to Southbank Centre this week for Ether 2011 with one of Steve Reich’s most acclaimed works, Drumming. We caught up with Colin to ask him our quick questions.

What do you fear the most and why?

Struggling to answer this one, so I guess I’m fairly fearless! I dislike pigeons however.

Which mobile number do you call the most?

I speak with my sister very often.

What – or where – is perfection?

Spending time with my nephew and niece who are 6 and 4 and full of wit and imagination.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?

I enjoyed the Richard Katz character from Jonathan Franzen’s latest book ‘Freedom’ although he is not at all likeable.

What’s your favourite ritual?

I enjoy tea and toast at home following red-eye flights back from the USA, which I take most months.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?

I met some very brave people in Mozambique whilst visiting there with World Vision.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

I love basketball and in my other (imaginary) career I am an NBA star, in the mould of D Wade (Miami Heat).

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?

Pierre-Laurent Aimard playing Messiaen’s ‘Vingt Regards’ and Barbara Hannigan tearing up Ligeti’s ‘Mysteries of the Macabre’. Good examples of what people can achieve when they put their minds to it.

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?

I would bring back Ian Curtis and have a Joy Division re-union.

What’s your favourite website?

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Be yourself and not what others or convention want you to be.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?

Anything by Stravinsky.

The Colin Currie Group plays Steve Reich’s Drumming as part of Ether 2011 at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 8 & 9 April 2011. Get tickets here

Ether 2011: Steve Reich’s Drumming with the Colin Currie Group

Ether has established itself as a festival of experimentation, contemporary classical and groundbreaking work. This year it features minimalist composer Steve Reich’s 1971 masterpiece,Drumming. Universally hailed as one of the great composers of our time and heralded by bands such as Radiohead and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Steve Reich has transformed the world of contemporary music with his innovative approach to harmony, rhythm and form.

A pioneer in his field, Reich used the technique of phasing in a number of his works. Phasing occurs when two musicians play a single repeated pattern in unison. Player One then changes their tempo slightly while Player Two maintains the original tempo. Eventually they are both several beats out of sync with each other. In Drumming four drummers phase in and out with each other, and are then joined by more musicians in parts two, three and four.

For Ether Festival the acclaimed Colin Currie group will be performing Drumming in its entirety as well as hosting a free pre-concert event where they will be demonstrating and discussing sections of the piece.

See the Colin Currie Group play Steve Reich’s Drumming at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 8 and 9 April 2011 as part of Ether 2011. Get tickets here.

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