All posts tagged: John Batten

Angela Su

The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers Blindspot Gallery May 20 –  Jun 30, 2017 John Batten Among the first people to experiment with electronic synthesisers in the early 1970s were British band Curved Air. Their music captured the heady atmosphere of the era, while the cover of their 1972 album Phantasmagoria, drawn by prominent illustrator John Gorham, featured a long, curly title running from edge to edge, with a hooded figure in the background smoking a hookah. The album’s title was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poem Phantasmagoria, meaning a fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery. Carroll’s poem – the longest he ever wrote – is a comical, nonsensical conversation between a ghost and a Mr Tibbett. The ghost arrives intending to take up residence in Mr Tibbett’s home, but after a series of conversations and explanations of why he is there, eventually realises that he is at the wrong address; he should be at a Mr Tibb’s home. The poem reflects the Victorian era’s interest in the supernatural, the world of psychics and mediums who employed …

Sound and Space

By John Batten The growing maturity and diversity of Hong Kong’s art scene can be seen in the crossover of visual art and music. Hong Kong is surprisingly well served with international western and Chinese classical-music programming and visiting artists. Itinerant, traditional Chinese opera and music ensembles perform during the city’s festivals, while the city’s western orchestras and music-festival initiatives, by both the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and other musical organisations, offer varied, year-round programmes. One particularly successful example is Premiere Performances, with its annual February chamber-music festival and stimulating programming throughout the year. Similarly, the New Music Ensemble promotes modern and contemporary music through its own festival and performances. In early 2015 the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra faced criticism for its conservative repertoire that season. Audiences have shown plenty of support for contemporary music and ambitious musical presentations, reflected in the more adventurous repertoire of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and although the Philharmonic came up with a more adventurous programme for 2016, it could still find its claims for residency at the new …