Matthew Herbert for Parla Ascolta Guarda Fai, Triennale Milano

On February 18th, Matthew Herbert took over the stage of Triennale Milano Teatro with his new project Matthew Herbert Makes Music, a one-off performance which re-elaborates the maverick British composer’s huge repertoire of almost 30 years. The concert was curated by Fantom as part of the project Parla Ascolta Guarda Fai. 

This unique live performance, conceived specifically for Parla Ascolta Guarda Fai, saw Herbert’s repertoire specially arranged for the Brescia-based ensemble Bazzini Consort along with a series of special guests, conducted by Hugh Brunt, from the London Contemporary Orchestra: Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi, British singer Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne, and Swiss percussionist Julian Sartorius. From film and television scores to house and techno productions, including pieces from the acclaimed albums Bodily Functions (2001), Plat du Jour (2005) and Scale (2006), and a wide range of materials from his renowned Big Band project, Matthew Herbert took the public on a journey from acoustics to electronics and back, led by his distinctive and irreverent style.

Matthew Herbert is an award-winning composer, artist, producer and writer. His range of innovative works counts more than 30 albums, movie soundtracks – such as the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman’s –, television, radio and game productions, and collaborations with the National Theatre of London and Broadway. He has performed and exhibited his works, installations and theatre pieces all over the world – from the Sydney Opera House to the Hollywood Bowl –, both solo as a DJ, and with other musicians, in particular the 21 elements of his Big Band. He has remixed iconic artists such as Quincy Jones, Ennio Morricone, Serge Gainsbourg and Mahler, and has collaborated for a long time with Björk. He has worked under commission for, among others, the Royal Opera House, the BBC and the Deutsche Grammophon. Known for the innovative use of field recordings and the ability to transform ordinary sounds in music, in his famous album One Pig (2012), Herbert documented a pig’s life from the birth to the dining table, and beyond. In 2018 he published his first book, The Music with Unbound, and was appointed as creative director of the New BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The State Between Us, the ambitious project carried out with the Big Band, was made with over 1,000 musicians and singers from all over the EU. A response to the Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and to the dramatic change in Britain’s history in the aftermath of Brexit. A masterpiece drawn together with recordings made in Rome, Berlin, Leipzig, Madrid and London, which reflects on the meaning of being British today.

Parla Ascolta Guarda Fai is the interdisciplinary programme of installations, exhibitions, performances, screenings, workshops and projects curated by Fantom and Davide Giannella for Triennale Milano, under the artistic direction of Umberto Angelini, and coordinated for Fantom by Selva Barni and Benedetta Pomini. 

Matthew Herbert Makes Music
With Bazzini Consort, Giovanni Guidi, Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne, Julian Sartorius
Curated by Fantom for Parla Ascolta Guarda Fai
Artistic Direction: Umberto Angelini 
Curated by Davide Giannella and Massimo Torrigiani/Fantom 
February 18th, 2020 
Triennale Milano