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Maritime Rites musical performance at the Millennium Bridge

London SE1 website team

Bankside provided the setting for the UK premiere of Alvin Curran's Maritime Rites composition on Friday afternoon.

Alvin Curran's stage
Composer Alvin Curran was on a barge west of the Millennium Bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge
A young passer-by covers her ears as she crosses the bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge
UBS Orchestra on the Millennium Bridge

Composer Alvin Curran was on a barge moored just to the west of the Millennium Bridge whilst the brass section of the London Symphony Orchestra occupied a stage on Bankside. Meanwhile the UBS Orchestra, made up of members of the bank's staff, performed from the Millennium Bridge.

The bells of St Paul's Cathedral joined in the grand finale at the end of the 75-minute performance.

The Millennium Bridge remained open to pedestrians throughout the performance – and some commuters looked distinctly unimpressed by the work of performance art impeding their Friday evening journey home.

Previously performed in Sydney and New York Harbour, Maritime Rites features a keyboard/synthesiser which contains a wide variety of sounds Curran has captured, re-used and transformed. These sounds come from rivers, ports, lighthouses, foghorns, claxons and boat signals.

"In the 1970s I began to formulate ideas and projects leading to the making of music outside concert halls – often in large open and naturally beautiful sites," explains Alvin Curran. "Ports, lakes and rivers etc were ready sources of my musical inspiration and now became theatres for my music."

The event was part of Tate Modern's ongoing collaboration with UBS.

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