Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells

Mike Oldfield recording Tubular Bells

Charles Hazlewood’s All Star Collective, 'A sort of avant-garde super group' re-discover Mike Oldfield's seminal Tubular Bells - the album that launched Richard Branson's Virgin Records - alongside Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air and Steve Reich's Four Organs.

Charles Hazlewood’s All Star Collective is an ensemble dedicated to improvisation, featuring artists from across the musical spectrum. From Portishead’s Adrian Utley to former Jazz Warriors saxophonist Jason Yarde, from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory to saxophonist Andy Sheppard to composer Graham Fitkin to drum & bass virtuoso Squarepusher.

This live ‘super group’ performance of Tubular Bells came to the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London a reenactment of Oldfield’s own group performance, 38 years previously. I played vinatge synths, some arm-busting maracas, glockenspiel and of course ... tubular bells! For those of you who watched the brilliant BBC4 documentary, I opted against using claw hammers on the bells - which is how they got the sound on the 1793 recording!

‘The 11 lavishly gifted “stars” were a revelation. They picked Tubular Bells apart and put it back together again, eking out its weirdness, its accessibility and its bravery. Minimal it may have been but it offered maximum pleasure.’

John Aizlewood, London Evening Standard

'… enveloping, transcendental … Hazlewood’s tackling of the pop-classical world of minimalism was a challenge that paid off'

Will Hodgkinson, The Times

'The Farfisa organs were kept in order by a strict and continuous beat played out on the maracas – heroically, considering the length of the piece – by percussionist Joby Burgess. He never once faltered and demonstrated exceptional physical stamina while manifesting the near-ecstasy that this trance-like pulse was creating.'

Mark Kidel, The Arts Desk

These UK performances took place at St George's, Bristol (4/11/11) QEH, Southbank, London (6/12/11) The Sage, Gateshead (7/12/11)

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