Philip Venables

Fight music

“Philip Venables’s Fight Music, evoking a community beating up an outsider (the poor whimpering cello) was brutally effective” — The Times

Fight music is a hypothetical scene from the Boris Vian play Les Bâtisseurs D’Empire (The Empire Builders).  The play is a violent, surreal comment on war and colonisation.  This music accompanies a fight scene where members of the family and their maid savagely beat a mysterious bandaged figure lurking in the corner while discussing what they’ll eat for dinner.  It’s absurdist cartoon horror.

Fight music was commissioned by Endymion for their 30th Birthday Sound Census festival in June 2009.  It premiered, conducted by Quentin Poole and with Jane Salmon as the solo cellist, on 5th June 2009 at Kings Place concert hall, London.

Orchestration: solo cello + fl, cl, tpt, tbn, pf, drum kit, bass

A version of Fight music for six players (solo cello + fl, cl, pf, perc, vn) is available upon request.

Duration: 5 minutes

Fight music is available on NMC disc D160, available here.

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