Royal Albert Hall,
Edinburgh International Festival, Usher Hall,
Five Telegrams marks the first co-commission for 59 Productions and composer Anna Meredith. The commission has come from a joint venture between the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival and 14-18 Now. In a unique coming together of music and projections, visuals were projected onto the external and internal façades of the Royal Albert Hall as well as the exterior of The Usher Hall alongside a brand new orchestral score, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, under Sakari Oramo.
The piece draws upon contemporary responses to the communication infrastructure of the First World War commemorating the end of the ‘Great War’ in its centenary year. We also celebrate the year of young people in Edinburgh, collaborating with many young people not only in the performance of the music, but also with costume design and filming elements of the project too.
“An intricate video projection mapped onto the face of the Usher Hall which mapped every contour of the building, turning it into a towering special effect. Before our eyes, it exploded with bright colours, melted away into darkness and threatened to burst off its axis as the drum-like building spun with racing streams of digital code, smoke jets on the roof lending realism to the sense of frantic kinetic motion.”
“The fruit of [59 Productions and Anna Meridith’s] research into communications during the First World War, from the gung-ho rhetoric of the media, to the censorship of postcards back from the front and then the pace of the message of the declaration of peace were themselves communicated with a clarity that surpassed the spectacles of previous years.”
“A bold and imaginative musical expression of the end of WWI” [..] As for the visuals, they were so beautifully decorative that one sometimes forgot their sinister implication. Nonetheless this was a spectacular and brilliantly conceived start to the season.”
BBC Symphony Orchestra
National Youth Choir of Great Britain
Proms Youth Ensemble
Edinburgh International Festival
Producer (Interior Proms)