Following my last tour to London of the opera State of Being in 2013, I decided to form the WBE (The Warwick Blair Ensemble). It is a fluid ensemble based in London and consisting of some NZ members and some English members. In essence it is an international collaboration between NZ (with myself as its composer and director, and our NZ performers) and UK (and their performers).
Having established this relationship in 2013, I now hope to be in a position to sustain it. It is extremely unique that top level performers from opposite sides of the world find themselves in this special situation of collaboration, while also offering the highest quality 'benchmark' performances.
It is worth pointing out that it makes good fiscal sense in having WBE physically situated in UK.
My work is innovative in that it crosses cultures and genres. For instance the international collaboration between North and South hemispheres & the amalgam of pop culture or specifically 'folk music' sensibility with classical music formalism and formality. An example being my latest work Lieder, for baritone, piano and electronic sounds. Lieder is based on the musical architecture of 1980s pop music, while adding operatic voice and piano with text by Tuwhare.
“very original and refreshing musical ideas… he is working at a new kind of ‘world’ or ‘universal’ metaphysical musical language…”
– Louis Andriessen on Warwick Blair
for harp, piano, marimba, 3 percussion, bass guitar, keyboard, and tape, 51m
for soprano, piano, and electronic playback, 21m
for 5 percussionists and conductor
for alto voice, flute, piano, double bass and percussion
for solo voice and piano with electronic playback, 41m
For tenor, flute, cello, piano and percussion
for Indian female singer and electronic music backing
for solo voice and chamber ensemble, 1h 28m
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