There is no work more fitting for the birth centenary of composer György Ligeti (1923–2006) than his own Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes. Presented in collaboration with the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, 100 mechanical metronomes will be mounted at Tai Kwun’s Laundry Steps throughout the Prison Yard Festival period to perform this monumental work as a tribute to the composer’s provocative artistry.
Ligeti’s two-year flirtation with the Fluxus movement gave rise to several outstanding pieces, the last of which being the audacious Poème Symphonique (1962), which premiered in the Netherlands in 1963. It caused so much controversy that Dutch television decided to cancel its broadcast, to be replaced by a football game. Ligeti subsequently reworked the symphony for a more contemporary performance in 1982.
Veiled in mystery owing to its scarcity in public performance, the hundred pyramid-shaped metronomes, each set to a different tempo by 10 operators to be “conducted” for Poème Symphonique, create a mesmerising spectacle of audio and visual stimulation that is sure to dazzle and amaze!