REVIEW: Contemporary Music Group & Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs, Chapel of the Ascension: Chichester University.

Created by him in 2007, the dynamic Adam Swayne introduced his latest Contemporary Music Group concert to a full Chapel of the Ascension, when all those present were about to hear mainly new music. Although the first half had contained lots of violent composition, it ended with the first performance of Adam’s new work which had been inspired by his fascination with the “hip-hop” scene of the early 20th Century.

He conducted his Beatbox Concerto, played by a soloist who blew into a beatboxer, the weird sounds of which were then transferred electronically, accompanied by a decidedly rhythmic group of double bass, brass, saxophones and percussion.

Highly gifted young pianist Michael Whytock’s intriguing Fantasia on a Theme by Telemann was then played by a flautist, whose tranquil, melodious, sounds were again transferred into the Chapel by electronic means, thus creating a really apt 21st century version of 18th century music.

Such an intriguing evening concluded with choirmaster Arthur Robson’s melodious Ave Maria and Stephen Montague’s fearsome Chorale for the Cauldrons of Hell, thus creating a stylish finale to all this locally-composed contemporary music.

John Wheatley