Glastonbury will stage ‘a spectacular headline performance and musical extravaganza celebrating the life of David Bowie’ on The Park Stage immediately after Adele’s headline slot.
Glass’s Heroes Symphony was written in 1996 as an homage to Bowie’s album of the same name. It will be performed by Army of Generals, the orchestra created by conductor Charles Hazlewood, and members of the British Paraorchestra, the world’s first, large-scale professional ensemble for musicians with disabilities. Hazlewood will conduct.
“Bowie was a huge fan of Glass, citing him as a primary influence,” Hazlewood says. “If Bowie had any interest in what might be played by all of us after he’d gone, then I reckon a world class orchestra breathing fire into Glass’s Heroes Symphony would make him very happy indeed. And with the added genius of laser virtuoso Chris Levine creating a visual counterpoint to Glass’s luminescent textures, this will be the most extraordinary sound and vision ever witnessed at Glastonbury.”
The music will be accompanied by Levine’s iy_project, “a spectacular new immersive sound and vision concept” created by Chris Levine in collaboration with Peter Hampel of Edenlab, the creative partner of the Eden Project. The iy_project has previously staged performances at Thailand’s Wonderfruit arts festival, in collaboration with musician John Hopkins, and at the Eden Project itself, as this video explains.
CR readers will be familiar with Levine’s previous work, including his Lightness of Being portrait of the Queen (see our 2007 profile of Levine here).
The iy_project ‘”diffracts high-powered lasers into geometric, wave and nebula light forms” so that the light “interacts in extraordinary ways with natural phenomena such as rain, mist, dust, trees, plants and people as well as architectural forms in an urban landscape; revealing textural qualities not normally perceivable to the naked eye”.
The Glastonbury performance will run until half past midnight. “We are delighted that David Bowie’s life will be celebrated by Glastonbury’s first ever classical music headliner,” Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis says. “Bowie’s performance of Heroes in his 2000 Pyramid set was one of the all-time moments in our history and it just feels so right that we will relive it again on Saturday night through the brilliance of Philip Glass’s symphony.”