|"Flock" picture from Northern Stage Website.|
Gateshead Composer Spreads Her Wings
ZENDEH’s latest production, FLOCK (click link for pictures, info and an audio clip) is a tale of migration and taking flight. A story of 3 siblings in Iran in 1921- a time of impending revolution. Inspired by The Conference of the Birds and the Arab uprisings of 2011.
The birdsong-inspired score has been composed by composer, DJ and performer Mariam Rezaei who works with multiple turntables, piano and electronics. The 28 year old musician – born in Gateshead but with Iranian family roots - has been on something of a journey herself. In 2012, she was invited to perform at the BBC Proms 47 by conductor Ilan Volkov for the John Cage Centenary celebration concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and she also performed on turntables with Kathryn Tickell and Folkestra in JigHop, part of the BT River of Music Festival for the Opening Ceremony of London 2012.
Mariam works regularly as a performer and DJ, competing in worldwide turntablist competitions, improvises and performs with turntables throughout the UK. She has DJd all over the UK and recently composed and directed music for a 14 turntable ensemble of young people, NOISESTRA, which premiered with experimental ensemble Apartment House at The Sage Gateshead in August 2012 for the Cultural Olympiad.
Mariam describes working on the project with the team at ZENDEH, “Writing the music for FLOCK has been an exciting journey, intricately bound to the development of a fantastic script and characters by Steven Gaythorpe. I’ve used a wide range of software, hardware, turntables, records, whistles, vocals and samples of bird song to make a unique sound. I’ve also been listening to works by Messiaen, Flying Lotus, John Cage, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Nick Cave, the Charleston dance, Michael Jackson and Billie Holiday – so a wide range of musical influences!”
Artistic Director Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh said, “The wonderful thing about collaborating with Mariam is her taste is so eclectic. The playlist is endless. It’s like having your own jukebox only better because she creates original tracks.”
Steven Gaythorpe, ZENDEH’s Associate Writer, said, “Whilst this is a magical tale set in Iran in 1921, it needs to resonate and connect here. The work we have been doing over the autumn has really helped highlight the universal and the timeless in the work we are creating.” Mariam adds, “I’ve collaborated with Nazli and in particular Steven, with the lyric writing for the songs throughout the play. It’s very important that the sonic landscape paints a strong visual image without distracting from the delicate and intricate on stage interactions - a real challenge when I'm used to being the soloist!”
|Set design by Yvette Hawkins|
At the time of writing, tickets are still still available for Thursday and Friday. Tickets can be booked online with Northern Stage.
Again, remember to check if there are more productions you want to see at Northern Stage, as their multibuy deal is an excellent way to plan a lot of great nights in advance and save a lot of your hard-earned cash. I've seen a lot of great theatre that way. I'm really looking forward to this show on Friday night, and will be sharing a review at the weekend.