Anna Meredith: Hands Free

I listened to this piece (recorded at the BBC proms in 2012) on the recommendation of a fellow student.  It is written, rather unusually, for ‘body percussion’ – all sorts of sounds are used including clapping, knee slapping, finger snapping, humming, hissing and shouting.  It’s almost as visual as it is acoustic; you can see the musical patterns by the motion of the musicians as they bend and gesture to produce the sounds.  This is especially true towards the end when a wave is generated by the musicians passing along the sound/gesture to each other.  The texture is built up slowly from unison clapping at the beginning, and with the help of some clever choreography I think it’s quite a fun piece.


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