Ensemble Multilatérale: Advocates for Music of Today

Modern Music?  No thank you, would have been my response before today.  I am a Baroque Fangirl through and through.  Okay, maybe a little classical and a smattering of Romantic is fine as well.  But apart from film music (I love John Williams & Howard Shore), any music written for orchestra or chamber groups after the 1900s would not hold much appeal for me.

Until tonight.  Older Daughter & I attended a recital at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory by the Ensemble Multilatérale, along with members of the Conservatory’s New Music Ensemble.   It was mind-blowing experience of sight & sound.  It was visually exciting: a game of hide & seek as I sought out the instruments which were making novel & unexpected sounds.  The musicians also did not always remain stationary: during one of the pieces, some of the musicians abandoned their own instruments to go knock on the piano.  It was an auditory feast as we were treated to a menu of new sound combinations which surprised, excited, held us in thrall, and delighted the audience.

The Multilatérale was set up in 2005 in Paris, bringing together composers, performers, musicologists and art professionals around the goal of making heard the musk of today’s composers.  They do this through concerts, multidisciplinary projects (visual arts, dance), world premieres and pedagogical activities (the fruits of which we experienced tonight).

It states in their write-up, that “the ensemble is particularly attached to the project of exposing new audiences to contemporary repertoire and serving the young generation of composers”.  I was certainly a new audience who was wowed tonight, and of the six pieces performed tonight, one was by a 2nd year Conservatory student, and one by a faculty member.

Will I be rushing out to book a New Music concert after tonight’s encounter?  Perhaps not.  But neither will I be so quick to dismiss the Music of Today as I have a new found appreciation and respect for our new composers.

What about you: how do you feel about our modern composers & their music?

This is written in response to Daily Post’s Weekly Discover Challenge: Blogging the Senses.


3 Replies to “Ensemble Multilatérale: Advocates for Music of Today”

  1. What a wonderful experience you had. It must have been amazing. And I think it is a tribute to you that you are open to new experiences. I know nothing about modern composers and their music, but this post makes me think I should learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, credit goes to Older Daughter. If she had not asked to go, it is not likely that I would have. It is largely due to my children that I try a plethora of new things. I tend to veer towards the familiar, like tonight’s performance of Schubert’s “Trout Quintet”. Having said this, I am more often pleasantly surprised by new experiences so I am quite happy to give it a whirl!


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