I attended a superb performance this evening of Echoes from the Birdcage, at The Platform Theatre, Handyside Street, King’s Cross, which tells the story of the area – best known as a transport hub – in six movements composed by Jill Jarman.
This was exquisitely presented by world-renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie – the area’s Musician in Residence for the year – together with Jill on piano, Paul Booth and Ian East (wind instruments) and Brian O’Kane (cello). The entire sound performance was signed superbly and inventively throughout and reference was made to the involvement of the Frank Barnes School in the project.
The movements explored, in turn, the peaceful aspects of King’s Cross, the sounds of travel, the future of the area, how sound interacts with the district’s buildings, the modern city’s cultural mix and the history of King’s Cross.
The performance was completed was by a Q&A session with Evelyn and Jill, chaired by PRS Foundation Chief Executive, Vanessa Reed. I was lucky enough to be able to ask the final question about the importance of researching the area’s history to the composition and Jill replied that they had been specifically been keen to incorporate elements that spoke of King’s Cross’s industrial past.
I joined our hosts for a drink at the theatre bar after the performance and chatted to Evelyn and Jill, plus the delightful twosome of Foundation’s Comms Manager Liam McMahon and Grants Co-ordinator Elizabeth Sills.
A very enjoyable and fascinating evening.