Kicking off on Thursday November 24 Kings Place will celebrate 50 Years of Minimalism: three packed programmes of over 25 works that explore minimalist icons and rarities, new inspirations and rock and roll influences. The festival marks the Labèque’s first visit to Kings Place which, with its reputation for unconventional programing, provides the ideal venue for the sister’s first extensive experiments with minimalist works.
Curated by journalist Igor Toronyi-Lalic, the festival marks fifty years since the first of Yoko Ono’s monthly loft shows in 1960-61. The three concerts Minimalism: Dawn, Minimalism: Europeans and Experimentalists, and Minimalism: Rock ‘n’ Rollersdig into the psychedelic beginnings of the minimalist movement, tracing its development from the movement’s forefathers: Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, John Cage and Colin McPhee, to Steve Reich’s Piano Phase, and other two-piano pieces by Arvo Pärt, Gavin Bryars and Philip Glass.
The concerts also feature works by Cornelius Cardew, Yoko Ono’s curator La Monte Young, James Tenney, Henry Flynt, and Terry Riley, as well as song arrangements of Radio Head, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin and Sonic Youth. Katia and Marielle Labèque will be joined nightly on stage by long-time friends and collaborators Nicola Tescari, David Chalmin andMassimo Pulpillo who will play some classic Minimalist-inspired rock and some equally classic-rock-and-world-music-influenced minimalism.
The ever-adventurous Katia and Marielle Labèque have long been champions of proto-minimalist maverick Eric Satie. 'Satie is so independent,' says Marielle 'so anti-conventional and very mean.' The pair, famed for their diverse and unconventional approach to repertoire, have recently worked on songs by the Beatles and dabbled in jazz collaborations, bringing them into the spirit of the sixties and the murky routes from which minimalism was born. 'Now we have our rockers,' Katia explains, 'it is the perfect time for us to look to the minimalists.'
Fifty Years of Minimalism is the most complete British celebration of the genre in all its waves.