Preview: Christine Duncan, Evan Parker & the London Debut of the Element Choir, Shoreditch Church. 24th Nov

Evan Parker and Christine Duncan

(UPDATE: We have also published Geoff Eales’ Review.) 

Veryan Weston writes about Christine Duncan and the Element Choir. The influential Canadian choral director will be performing with Evan Parker, Veryan Weston and Phil Minton on the 24th November at Shoreditch Church. He writes: 

I was doing a concert at the 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival in Canada and got there a day early. I spotted an interesting looking choral project called the Element Choir, with Christine Duncan. Because of my own involvement with the London Improvisors Orchestra and also working with Phil Minton I was knocked out by Christine’s amazing powers as the organiser and conductor of this project. After this wonderful occasion I vowed to keep in contact in order to make a collaborative project with her one day soon.

Earlier this year I got an email out of the blue from Christine to dep for an organist at the Ottawa ChamberFest with another Element Choir project. After, I stayed in Toronto to make plans for a project involving Christine.

She’s an amazing person. She began learning her craft in church. A minister’s daughter, she performed with her musical family “The Duncans” in gospel shows on stages across North America from the age of five. When she was 15 she recorded her first album of her own original gospel tunes in Nashville.

Christine has sung with artists as diverse as Kenny Wheeler, Ray Charles and John Oswald.

In creating her Element Choir, she assembled her own system for dynamic group expression that is both creative and joyful. Christine says: “There’s something visceral, beautiful, and a bit frightening about the sound of a bunch of voices raised together in unexpected sound making.”

So how did Evan Parker get involved? Well, he was recently scheduled to play with Christine’s Element Choir in Toronto when the gig fell through due to lack of space. There’s no problem here in London with Shoreditch Church. This simple large space is ideally suited to house this incredibly adventurous choral project with Evan, who himself is getting his toes wet with voices for the first time.

Other musicians who are signing up to be vocalists include Phil Minton (who worked with Christine in Canada), Max Eastley, my sister – Armorel Weston, Kay Grant, Jim Dvorak and a good cross-section of curious London vocalists. There could not be a more profoundly dramatic début for Christine in England!

TIME: 20:30
TICKETS: £7 (£5 concessions)
The Element Choir on CD

Categories: miscellaneous

2 replies »

  1. A real shame that this concert clashes with all those last night of the London Jazz Festival concerts (which has too many clashes already). Anybody who has already booked for a LJF concert won't be able to attend this one – because it was not on the radar early enough, and, surprisingly does not appear to be a LJF event.

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