King Place's Nature Unwrapped launched by Theatre of Voices with a trio of striking contemporary works


Music by Arvo Pärt, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Michael Gordon
Film: Songs from the Soil (Phie Ambo)

The Times, Tuesday January 14 2020:
'To open the first concert in a year of Kings Place events labelled “Nature Unwrapped”, what could be better than the authentic music of crashing waves, bird cries and other unwrapped nature, part of an introductory sonic panorama specially created by the wildlife recorder and musician Chris Watson? The sounds of Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices singing their heads off was just as remarkable. For fearlessness, verve, and beauty and strength of individual timbre the six singers featured certainly deserve the five-star sweep.'

Reviewed by Robert Hugill, 11 January 2020 (
'The film was certainly poetic, consisting of a great many highly photogenic images, often close-ups and rather Instagram-worthy... The music made a very significant contribution, as there was no narrative, particularly in Theatre of Voices' strong performances... The singers from Theatre of Voices made a strongly focused yet vibrant sound, this was very much Arvo Pärt sung Estonian style rather than a pure, white English sound.'

'Gordon's striking textures evoked Minimalism with plenty of rhythmic repetition, the piece had moments of being quite jazzy too. Gordon's writing varied from interesting close harmonies to some quite traditional polyphony... The result was striking and vividly performed, with Theatre of Voices really committing to the piece, even to American accents.'