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London Contemporary Music Festival

  • Lawrence Dunn

Does intimacy have anything to do with music? Music – especially acoustic chamber music – is regularly, even unthinkingly, labelled intimate. The implications of this common-enough usage were the major preoccupation of the most recent London Contemporary Music Festival. With multiple images and varieties of intimacy foregrounded – bodily, sexual, aural, psychological, somnolent – Igor Toronyi Lalic's curation was masterful. By turns provocative, baffling, emotional and ear-averting, not without some irony, the concerts were held in a vast underground concrete room.

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1 A 2011 performance of this piece, at The Kitchen in New York, can be seen here: The section excerpted as Purposeful Lady begins at 28:20.

2 See also Gann, Kyle, Robert Ashley (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012).

3 A 2016 performance of Ashley's final project, Quicksand, is documented here:

4 Carolee Schneemann discusses the making of Fuses here:

5 From liner notes to Dion McGregor Dreams Again, Tzadik Records, B00000I0FN, 1999,

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  • ISSN: 0040-2982
  • EISSN: 1478-2286
  • URL: /core/journals/tempo
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