The American composer and artist Alvin Curran will be stationed on a barge in the middle of The Thames, leading the London Symphony Orchestra Brass, the UBS Orchestra and over 300 volunteers for the UK premiere of Maritime Rites. This spectacular performance inspired by the sounds of the river, and concluding with the bells of St Paul's Cathedral, will take place outside Tate Modern and on the Millennium Bridge.
Maritime Rites has been made possible through UBS who has pioneered unique partnerships with both Tate and the London Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned by Tate Modern, Maritime Rites is the first collaboration between Tate Modern and LSO and is part of UBS Openings: Live, a series of bi-monthly performance events at Tate Modern.
Previously performed in Sydney and New York Harbour Maritime Rites will begin at 5.45pm. Curran will start playing a keyboard/synthesizer which contains a wide variety of sounds he has captured, re-used and transformed. These sounds come from rivers, ports, lighthouses, foghorns, claxtons and boat signals. Like Handel's harpsichord on a barge playing the Water Music, originally performed in 1717 for George I, Curran's performance will link many elements together.
On his barge, Curran will be joined by a cadre of improvising musicians including Evan Parker on the Saxophone and Melvyn Poore on the Tuba. Outside Tate Modern on the north landscape, the London Symphony Orchestra Brass will be playing Curran's re-composition of music historically associated with the Thames written specifically for this UK premiere.
The UBS Orchestra, which brings together UBS employees and the Administration staff from the London Symphony Orchestra, will perform from the Millennium Bridge, leading volunteers with their instruments. The performance will last 75 minutes and finish at 7pm. The bells of St Paul's Cathedral will play a specially-composed carillon to conclude the event.