Wayne McGregor curates album of composer collaborations

Martin Cullingford Fri 12th July 2019

Composers featured include Saariaho, Richter, Muhly and Tavener - plus, watch Jon Hopkins video

Wayne McGregor's album will showcase his work with many of today's leading composers (photo: Pal Hansen)

Wayne McGregor's album will showcase his work with many of today's leading composers (photo: Pal Hansen)

Choreographer Wayne McGregor has curated an album featuring music he has commissioned for his dance productions across the past quarter century. Called ‘Wayne McGregor: Collaboration’, it will be released on the Mercury KX label - an imprint of Universal Music Group/Decca Records - on September 6.

One of today's leading figures in contemporary dance, McGregor has collaborated with composers including Kaija Saariaho, Max Richter, Nico Muhly, and Sir John Tavener, whose music for McGregor’s ballet Amu receives its world premiere recording on the release. Several of the pieces have been re-recorded and rearranged, in collaboration with McGregor and the original composer.

'It’s been an honour to work with a fantastic roster of composers over the last 25 years,' said McGregor. 'Working in collaborative dialogue with other artists has always fuelled my creative process and I feel privileged to have shared these endeavours with such a range of talented and inquisitive people.'

Joby Talbot, who wrote Transit of Venus for the ballet Chroma, described working with McGregor. 'Above all the things that struck me about him was his clarity of vision, he was very clear structurally about what the music for these pieces wanted to do… He very much wanted to invite collaborators who are going to bring their talents to the table and allow them room to really express themselves. It was just amazing working with him.'

Another composer to feature, Nico Muhly, had arranged William Byrd’s ‘Miserere Mei’ for the ballet Machina. 'It’s wonderful to see a choreographer not just acknowledge, but formally compile the music that has formed the basis of his output,' he said of the album. 'It’s really thrilling to have this album exist and I can’t wait to listen to the whole thing.' 

Jon Hopkins, meanwhile, was commissioned by McGregor to write his piece Vessel for the wider dance piece Entity. A version arranged for orchestra by Tom Hodge is being released as a single today, and you can watch a live painting film of the track by Perry Hall here:

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