Illusions, with David Hoyle

Illusions is a piece for live ensemble and video projection.  It was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta as a “Note to the new government” and performed by them two days after the British General Election in 2015, at the QEH, Southbank Centre on London, 9th May 2015.  It is a collaboration with the performance artist David Hoyle

Illusions was extended in 2017 to replace the 2015 version, as part of the New Music Biennial 2017.  The work was recorded by NMC Recordings for release as part of the Below The Belt album.


“Philip Venables’s Illusions, a collaboration with performance artist David Hoyle, batters at the limits of form, emotion and sexuality in a ferocious assertion of LGBT individualism in the face of establishment nihilism and uncertainty – a brilliant, extreme work that grips like a vice and won’t let go.” — The Guardian

“Most graphically urgent is Illusions — which performance artist David Hoyle acidly exposes through alternating political rant and twisted seduction. Supported with terrific intelligence by Richard Baker’s London Sinfonietta — the muzak, especially, disturbs — this is a remarkable piece, sensationally played.” — BBC Music Magazine

Best of the bunch by far was Illusions, in which aggressively rhythmic music by Philip Venables engaged in a jerky dance with the on-screen diatribes of “anti-drag queen” David Hoyle, aimed directly at us in the hall. “Are you just thinking about how you can hang on to what you’ve got?”, leered Hoyle contemptuously. It was the one moment that put us all on the spot.” — The Telegraph

“Closing the disc is Illusions for speaker and ensemble, an unholy screed of lounge muzak and glitch on a cruise ship sailing the Styx. Performance artist David Hoyle rails against hypocrisy and venality in amusing fashion. ‘The media shits into your brain’, is one of his bons mots. Bathetic and compelling, it’s performed with a punch.” — Gramophone Magazine

“a proper little zinger” — The Spectator


Ensemble: video projection, picc.bsax / tpt.tbn / pf.1perc(BD.whistle.tgl) /  Requires click track (either for all players or a conductor)
Duration: 14 minutes

Philip Venables & David Hoyle
commissioned by the London Sinfonietta.
conductor: Richard baker, Sound: Sound Intermedia
producer for NMC: David Lefeber
music & video by Philip Venables

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