The fourth in our two question series is well, me…Ben Oliver, the conductor of the Workers Union Ensemble! Here goes…
WUE: In what way does your piece respond to the ‘On & Off’ theme?
Ben: In my piece, ZEROS AND ONES, I work with the idea of musical switches that either turn different musical materials ‘on and off’, or transform them in some way. So for example at the beginning of the piece the piano has a descending pattern that turns ‘on’ layers of material, and a high angry chord turns ‘off’ layers of material. As the piece develops switches also reverse, slow down and speed up the music.
WUE: What music are you into at the moment?
Ben: I have a lecture I do about Ives most years at Southampton. I love his music and The Houstatonic at Stockbridge blows my mind every time I hear it!
I’m writing a piece for ensemble and poet and the moment and my favourite discovery in researching the piece has been a really tiny piece featuring Kenneth Patchen called Murder Of Two Men By A Young Kid Wearing Lemon Colored Gloves: