“THE GREAT MAN OF SMALL INSTRUMENTS”
Poul Høxbro has been called “the great man of small instruments”. He’s an endlessly fascinating and inspiring musician - a Danish master of ancient flutes and bells, of bones and drums. As soon as we met him, we knew we had to work with him.
While we were building the show, we had a moment when we realised that this combination of instruments has literally never been heard before. The set that we are presenting is all new - terrifyingly, ink-barely-dry new. Ancient music, brought vividly to life for 21st century ears.
Rounding out our artistic team for the project is composer Paul Clark, who will be writing new music for the show. Paul makes his Manchester Collective debut fresh off the back of a hugely successful collaboration with Renee Fleming and Ben Whishaw at The Shed in New York. We’re thrilled to have him along for the ride.
Full disclosure - “Ecstatic Dances” feels scary for us. New work is always frightening, mostly because until you start making it, you never really know what you’re going to end up with. Fortunately, we’re not particularly fond of being comfortable. Come join us on tour. Let’s get risky.
Ecstatic Dances is kindly supported by Arts Council England and the RVW Charitable Trust.
Poul Høxbro Flutes & Percussion
Paul Clark Composer
Violin Rakhi Singh, Simmy Singh
Viola Ruth Gibson
Cello Abel Selaocoe
Electric Bass Alan Keary
Leeds Town Hall Crypt
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
CLF Art Cafe
Invisible Wind Factory Substation
The Stoller Hall
Poul Høxbro is a true pioneer in the field of music. He has been called ”the great man of small instruments” and it is true that he is quite unique in the way he has taken the medieval instrument of pipe and tabor – played simultaneously by one person – out of the shadows and into the full glare of concert platforms all over the world.
Poul is currently Guest Conductor of Concerto Copenhagen, designing and managing projects that present baroque music in a slightly different way than the usual. Poul is also a guest teacher at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
He has performed in intimate chamber music settings, as a soloist in a contemporary Danish Opera at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen, on traditional music stages, and as a theatre musician. He has always amazed and delighted audiences with his virtuosity and lively musicality, crossing the borders of what might be expected from his ”small” instruments – instruments which, apart from pipe and tabor, include all types of historical percussion and traditional flutes.
Besides his music, Poul Høxbro is a much sought-after storyteller. He has received outstanding reviews for his dramatic and utterly magic way of drawing an audience into the world of myth and legend – be it in Danish, Swedish, German or English! His outstanding performing skills and his depth of knowledge in his field has led to invitations for Poul Høxbro to give concerts, lectures and courses in USA, Australia, China and throughout Europe.
He has recorded for Classico, ABC Records, Move Records, BIS, Exlibris, Gefion Records, Universal Records, Sony Music, Chandos and Naxos.
Paul is co-artistic director of CLOD ENSEMBLE and has written critically acclaimed original scores for all the company’s productions to date – ranging from totally acoustic works, to multi speaker installations. Each score is a bespoke piece that is in a dialogue with the visual material; Silver Swan is an acapella piece for seven classical singers; Under Glass is an entirely recorded surround-sound installation; whilst An Anatomie counterpoints electronics, live orchestral music and a rock band.
As a leading composer on the British theatre scene, Paul has written dozens of scores for theatre in the UK and internationally. He has written music for and with a hugely diverse range of musicians from Manchester Camerata and Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik; to Dangermouse, the Welsh National Opera male chorus and Mark E Smith (The Fall).
Paul has a long-standing collaboration with theatre and opera director Katie Mitchell for whom he has written over twenty scores in theatres across Europe, including Waves and Wunschkonzert, and with Gare St Lazare with whom he created Here All Night (Lincoln Center, New York, Brighton Festival, The Abbey, Dublin) an acclaimed words and music piece using texts by Samuel Beckett. In Spring 2019 Paul composed the score for Norma Jeane Baker of Troy featuring Renee Fleming and Ben Wishaw, as part the inaugural season at The Shed, New York.
In TV and film, he has collaborated with Simon Amstell, French auteur Arnaud Desplechin, award winning Anglo Irish Director John Michael McDonagh and written scores for David Sedaris audio books. Other works include The Weather Man (Opera North) and Liebeslied/My Suicides, a collaboration with photographer Rut Blees Luxemburg (ICA/Genesis Foundation), gallery installations (ICA, Ceri Hands) museum installations (V&A) and one-off events (e.g. 500th anniversary of Hampton Court video/firework event).