Ahead of their concert at Sounds New on Monday 14 May, saxophonist and group-member, Ellie Steemson answers three questions about the youthful and vibrant ensemble, Workers Union.
Tell us about your ensemble
Workers Union Ensemble initially came together for a performance of Louis Andriessen’s epic work of the same name whilst its members were studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since it formed in 2008, the group has evolved into its unusual six-piece line-up consisting of sax, oboe, piano, double bass and two percussionists, under the direction of conductor, Ben Oliver.
What excites you about contemporary music?
Close collaboration with composers is central to our work. We are gradually building up a set of works commissioned specifically for the ensemble with the addition of one or two new pieces at each performance. Working in this way has led to the development of a process of interaction between us and composers which gives a great sense of energy and excitement.
What can we look forward to in your concert ?
Workers Union are very excited to be performing at Sounds New on May 14th. We will be presenting a brand new work by Ryan Latimer as well as works previously written for the ensemble by associated composers Matthew Kaner and Ben Oliver, and two works by British stalwarts Michael Finnissy and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Here is Workers Union in concert in July last year, performing one of the pieces featuring in their Sounds New concert, Gaugin Sketches by Matthew Kaner.
And, from the same concert, another of the pieces coming to Canterbury, Ben Oliver’s brash, groove-inflected Ripped Up.
With thanks to Ellie.