Tongue // Musarc // Palais de Tokyo // Festival Do Disturb

Over the last 10 months, I’ve been involved in a musical project called Tongue which consists of two trombones, a singer and electronics. We recently had the pleasure of being asked to collaborate with the choir Musarc for a performance as part of Festival Do Disturb at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Here’s a baisc blurb on Tongue:

‘TONGUE is musicians Huw Thomas (Glad Hand), Timothy Slater (Adult Jazz) and sound artist Alex De Little. Paring down compositions to include only trombone and voice – alongside additional electronic manipulation from producer Dan Jacobs (AEVA, Glad Hand, Makeness) – TONGUE explore songwriting and arrangement within the framework of these instrumental limitations.’

The collaboration consisted of a re-invention of Henry Purcell’s Funeral Sentences for the Death of Queen Mary. Whilst predominantly a vocal work, the piece contains an opening fanfare, a March and a Canzona. Orchestrated for trumpets and drums, these elements of the work match the forces of Tongue. The idea was that in the spirit of these small pieces, we would write a number of short interludes that punctuate the vocal performance. Some of these interludes were original, whilst others were based directly on the fanfare and the Canzona. The greatest challenge that we faced was balancing the stylistic ad harmonic integrity of Purcell’s writing with our own sound of sampled drums, synth, affected trombones and vocals.

We performed the piece three times, at the foot of the main staircase in the Palais de Tokyo, in front of a huge arc-shaped mirror which was designed by the artistic director of the choir, Joseph Kohlmaier. See below for some images from rehearsals and performance.