Liverpool Biennial Seeks 100 Electric Guitarists For Modern Concerto

An open call went out yesterday for 100 volunteer electric guitarists and 8 bassists to perform in the UK premiere of American avant-garde composer Rhys Chatham’s large-scale work, A Crimson Grail, which will be performed at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on14 September 2012 to open this year’s Liverpool Biennial.
Volunteers must be able to play proficiently, read music, and be able to commit to three evenings of rehearsals on 11, 12 and 13 September and a full day on 14 September. Anyone interested should go to the Liverpool Biennial website, where full information and an application form is available here:

Applications must be received no later than Friday 27 July and successful applicants will be announced by 3 August. All guitarists will need to provide their own guitars and amps.
Rhys Chatham is best-known for his large-scale guitar orchestras. He was Music Director of the celebrated Kitchen art centre in New York in the 70s.  His work is heavily influenced by punk rock and he has worked with artists including Philip Glass, Sonic Youth and Robert Fripp of King Crimson.
A Crimson Grail is produced by Samizdat.
Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said “We are delighted to be collaborating with a young Liverpool producer to bring this essential performance to the city as part of the opening of Liverpool Biennial 2012. The challenge of finding 100 electric guitarists for the piece is one we are sure Liverpool will rise to and we look forward to filling Liverpool Cathedral with Rhys Chatham’s epic sound.”
Eryl Parry, Director of Enterprise, Liverpool Cathedral, said “Liverpool Cathedral is widely acclaimed to be one of the world’s greatest 20th century buildings, awe-inspiring to the visitor and deeply ingrained in the life of the city.  It’s so fitting, then, and such a privilege to be a partner in this year’s Liverpool Biennial and to host such a monumental cultural event in its opening weekend. The team here looks forward to welcoming Rhys Chatham, over 100 performers, the production team and an international and local audience to what will be a truly tremendous night.”

Liverpool Biennial is the UK Biennial of Contemporary Art. For ten weeks every two years the city of Liverpool is host to an extraordinary range of artworks, projects and a dynamic programme of events. It is the largest international contemporary art festival in the UK. Liverpool Biennial unfolds through a programme of exhibitions and projects that lead to a rediscovery of the city. Newly commissioned and existing artworks and projects are presented in diverse locations, including unusual and unexpected public spaces as well as the city’s galleries, museums and cultural venues. The cultural organisations in Liverpool work together in partnership to create an unparalleled context for the presentation of contemporary art and culture. Liverpool Biennial commissions leading and emerging artists to make and present permanent and temporary public artworks as well as long-term community-based projects. There is an integrated research programme of learning, talks and events creating a dynamic year-round programme. The 7th Liverpool Biennial runs 15 September – 25 November 2012. For further information please visit

Samizdat is a Liverpool-based events company that has produced over one hundred events over the past eight years, collaborating with organisations such as Liverpool Music Week, Mercy, FACT and The Kazimier and bringing acts to Liverpool such as Liars, Deerhunter, Daniel Johnston, Philip Jeck and Charles Hayward along with a further five hundred artists including a number of previous guitar orchestras. Photo © : Paula Court

Rhys Chatham A Crimson Grail for 100 Guitars and 10 Basses
Liverpool Cathedral, St James’ Mount, Liverpool L1 7AZ
7.30pm, 14 September 2012

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