Jóhann Jóhannsson's 'Drone Mass'
featuring ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), Theatre of Voices & Jóhann Jóhannsson; conducted by Donato Cabrera
Two of the world’s cutting-edge new music ensembles — the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and Theatre of Voices — join forces at Duke for one monumental performance. ACME, who last visited Duke Performances in the 2014/15 season, have been lauded as “contemporary music dynamos" by NPR. The Danish vocal group Theatre of Voices, dedicated to contemporary work, produce “impeccably refined and expressive singing” (Sunday Times) under their director, the choral sage and Hilliard Ensemble founder Paul Hillier.
The piece that brings these two new music powerhouses together is Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s haunting Drone Mass. Best known for his elegantly minimalist, Oscar-nominated film scores for The Theory of Everything and Sicario, Jóhannsson writes unclassifiable modern music that “lies somewhere between classical, ambient music, and an experimental soundtrack” (The Guardian). ACME and Theatre of Voices join for a stirring performance of his recent oratorio Drone Mass, with Jóhannsson himself adding the electronic hum that gives the piece its name.