Tuesday 27 September 2011

Read All About Red!

A Britten Sinfonia quartet consisting of Miranda Dale, Alexandra Reid, Sarah-Jane Bradley and Caroline Dearnley performed with singer-songwriter Emma Salokoski and guitarist / theremonist Jarmo Saari as part of the London Design Festival last week. The red dress designed by Aamu Song and Johan Olin is made up of 550 metres of plush red fabric and appeared in London for the first time as part of a series of events promoted by the Finnish Institute; eerily, but beautifully transforming the interior of the 1930s music hall, York Hall in Bethnal Green.

The dress, which has become a national treasure in Finland has appeared at several European venues including the Design Museum in Helsinki (2007), the Ourfestival in Tuusulanjärvi, Finland (2008), Elizabeth Church in Designmai, Berlin, Germany (2008) and Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2010).

Audience members experienced the hour-long concert from pockets around the skirt of the dress, the bodice of which was raised above floor level seamlessly rotating and pivoting as Emma delivered her performance of a number of Nordic tracks.

Highlights included a new piece entitled ‘Red’ written by Lauri Salokoski, Emma’s brother and a number of other tracks, some with ancient Finnish lyrics, many of which had been arranged to feature string quartet, previously performed at the Lake Tuusula Chamber Music Festival, curated by virtuosic violinist Pekka Kuusisto.
Britten Sinfonia got into the red spirit, dressed completely in red, with the addition of a rather fetching red hairpiece on the final night.

Events concluded with a red cocktail at a trendy East London bar. Certainly not an event to be forgotten and hopefully the beginning of a long lasting friendship with this inspirational team of artists.

Many thanks to all involved, especially Hanna Harris and Suvi Saloneimi at the Finnish Institute.

James Calver
Concerts Assistant

Photos copyright Thomas Skovsende

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