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Beatbox Concerto

The Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra is a collaboration between Shlomo and composer Anna Meredith to create the first fully scored classical beatbox piece. It premiered in February 2010 and is due to return in 2011. The Concerto is a challenging modern classical work recognising the human voice box as a musical instrument. A full notation for beatboxer was developed and will be made freely available via the internet.

Beatbox Concerto

Return of the Beatbox Concerto, The Hague Holland, Apr 20 2012

Fri 20 April 2012 20:15
Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra, with Hague Philharmonic Orchestra
Paard van Troje, The Hague, Holland

More info / tickets

I’m rather excited to announce that Anna Meredith’s Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra is back! I’ll be appearing once again as the soloist, alongside the Hague Philarmonica Orchestra.

Last time I performed this piece it took an entire month of full time study for me to learn it. I need to get practising!

Check out the video of the premiere London performance back in 2010:

Watch on Vimeo


Video and published score: Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra


Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra – the full performance video.

Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra: a collaboration between beatboxer Shlomo and composer Anna Meredith. This is a video of the Premiere performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, February 2010.

A big part of this commission was a year-long project to create a notation system for beatboxing. You can download the full score here SCORE – CONCERTO FOR BEATBOXER AND ORCHESTRA. As a beatboxer who teaches and writes, the notation has revolutionised my working methods. I used to have to use a series of unhelpful diagrams and confusingly wordy scripts when I’d written a new piece for the Vocal Orchestra.

This piece took me a month to learn, studying every day. It took me a whole day to master one particularly tricky bar in the score.

We are hoping to perform the Concerto again next year.

What do you think? All a bit too serious? Does it compromise the spontaneous magic of beatboxing as an artform? Or do you think we’ll see more composed classical beatbox works in the future?

I would love to hear your feedback, please comment below!!


video responses from poor unsuspecting Concerto goers

I just got an email from a site called Winkball.com who were at the recent premiere of Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra. They took over 50 videos of people’s thoughts before and after the gig. (Some are more interesting than others).

You can see the videos here.


Listen again to Shlomo on BBC iPlayer

Listen to Shlomo talking to Kirsty Lang on BBC Radio 4 about the new Concerto written for him by Anna Meredith that premieres this weekend.

LISTEN AGAIN ON iPLAYER


great piece in the Guardian about Concerto for Beatbox

“What’s that awful word? Fusion! It’s not that,” Meredith says, and Shlomo agrees. “We didn’t want an orchestra with a beat plonked over it. We wanted a hybrid.” Read Pascal Wyse’s piece for the Guardian in full


Video: Behind the Scenes of the Beatbox Concerto

Check out this film by Gemma Riggs detailing the process behind the new classical work CONCERTO FOR BEATBOXER AND ORCHESTRA which premieres on February 19th 2010 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rto5HB1rHFE


SHLOMO’S BEATBOX CONCERTO FOR KIDS

CONCERTO FOR BEATBOXER AND ORCHESTRA

Although tickets for the premiere of Shlomo’s CONCERTO FOR BEATBOXER AND ORCHESTRA have now sold out, we are pleased to announce a special second performance on SATURDAY 20TH FEBRUARY at 11am at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. This will be a family show as part of Southbank Centre’s Imagine Festival. Please bring your little sister or brother, son, daughter, or cousin and get them hooked on the beatbox bug! BUY TICKETS HERE

Imagine Festival

Imagine Festival


beatboxconcerto update

sitting here trying to nail this score. there’s a part where i have to make two notes at once, which means learning how to blow a raspberry in tune, and then sing another note on top. right now i’ve been blowing raspberries into a guitar tuner for nearly an hour. this is my job. http://shlo.co.uk/beatboxconcerto


Preview video piece: Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra

Check out this mini-performance for beatboxer, cello, bass clarinet and percussion.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8wPSd5Twsk

Composer – Anna Meredith
Cello – Oliver Coates
Human beatbox – Shlomo
Bass clarinet – Stuart King
Percussion – Sarah Cresswell

Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra takes place on Feb 19th and 20th at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.


Concerto documentary teaser

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBG6Rxk1L_I


Listen again – BBC Radio 3: my first reactions to the score for Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ps0p Check out this piece on BBC Radio 3′s Music Matters to hear my first reactions to Anna’s score: BBC Radio 3 – Music Matters (36 minutes in). You can listen again until next weekend!


Beatbox Concerto – first draft of the score

OMG I was nearly in tears when Anna showed me the score, it’s FIENDISH. Here’s a little excerpt – click for a close up

OUCH

OK so this excerpt is 29 bars, of a total of 306 bars in the piece.  Note that in these 30 bars there are 25 time signatures. 25. I have less than a month to memorise the entire piece, with only 2 rehearsals with the orchestra, and I am actually scared. It’s not a good scared like i sometimes get, this is real fear. help!!


Beatbox Concerto – first workshop with an actual orchestra!

We has such a great session on Thursday, the first workshop for the Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra where we actually blended a group of beatboxers with a real orchestra – about 15 of them!

Anna Meredith (our composer) is flying, she’s been writing some exciting rhythmic and harmonic little pieces. Now she can start stringing them together into the final score (which has to be done by Xmas – no pressure then).

Highlight of the day was when the orchestral players beatboxed, just
by reading the notation! It really works :) STOKED.

Here’s some photos taken by Gemma Riggs.

x

Workshopping Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra

Workshopping Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra

Workshopping Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra

Workshopping Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra


Beatbox vs bassoon, cello and tuba. BRING IT.

So we’re writing a classical work. A Beatbox Concerto. A real one, with like actual classical musicians playing actual instruments. Cellos, bassoons, tubas and whatnot. Alongside beatboxers. Reading scores. Oh yes. And me at the front with my top hat and tails.

Here’s some pictures from our workshop last week..

Beatboxers read music

Look at the concentration on these cute little mouth magicians’ faces! Not just boom bap today!!

Beatbox Concerto Notation

Some of Anna’s first scored-out beatbox notation. We have until Christmas to finish the score. Then I have to memorise it in time for the premiere on February 19th. OUCH.

Beatbox Concerto composer Anna Meredith tweaks the score

Composer Anna Meredith tweaks the score.

Beatbox Concerto Workshop

Tuba vs beatbox – who has more bass?? I think we all know the answer. When are they bringing the timpani? I’m ready.


first concerto experiments!

Vignette de banana by shlo

First experiments with a small ensemble trying out ideas for Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra, a contemporary classical work being composed by Shlomo and Anna Meredith.

Recorded Live at Cafe Oto. Performers: Shlomo – human beatboxer, Stuart King – clarinet, Oliver Coates – ‘cello and Sarah Cresswell – percussion.

The Concerto is a commission by Southbank Centre, where I am an artist in residence, supported by the Paul Hamyln Foundation.


New commission: Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra

I’m so excited to announce that Southbank Centre have commissioned Anna Meredith and myself to write a new classical work entitled Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra.

Anna Meredith (who you might have seen recently on TV teaching Goldie how to write orchestral music) is one of the UK’s hottest up and coming composers – she has written two BBC Proms and last year was commissioned for the Last Night of the Proms.

Our new piece will be performed on February 19th and 20th 2010 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with a specially created 20-piece orchestra, plus the Vocal Orchestra (my 8-piece beatbox choir) embedded within the ensemble.

This will be a challenging modern classical work recognising the human voicebox as a musical instrument in its own right, and also a chance to create the first full notation for beatboxers.

I’ll be blogging and tweeting throughout the whole process, and all the latest info, photo, video, blog posts and links to buy tickets can be found on the Concerto’s project page.


Short-listed for music prize

The PRS Foundation have just announced the shortlist for their ‘New Music Award’, and I’ve made the last six from over 130 hopefuls! The winner of this prestigious award will be announced in April, and will receive £50k towards their proposed project.

My plan is to commission a ‘Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra’ from top composer Anna Meredith, to be performed at the Royal Festival Hall in 2009. This is no novelty piece, it will be a challenge to create a modern classical work recognising the human voicebox as a full-blown musical instrument.

More info at the PRS foundation.