s t a r g a z e perform Boards of Canada's Hi Scores @ Leith Theatre, Edinburgh, 25 Aug
Berlin collective s t a r g a z e bring Boards of Canada’s Hi Scores EP to life through a live performance style that is vibrant and exhilarating to watch
The Edinburgh International Festival has attracted artists from all over the world including Berlin instrumental collective s t a r g a z e, who are welcomed to the Leith Theatre stage this evening to perform an orchestral reimagining of Edinburgh duo Boards of Canada’s 1996 EP, Hi Scores.
s t a r g a z e, conducted by André de Ridder, is a 12-piece classically-trained orchestra that combines woodwind, brass and strings with more contemporary instruments including the electric guitar, drums and vocals. Ridder tells the audience that the collective no longer performs live as they've been focusing on work produced in the studio, adding that s t a r g a z e have been working on this particular score for over two years after the idea for the large-scale interpretation was pitched to the conductor by the collective's guitarist.
Hi Scores is a homogeny of electronic sound which can sometimes wash over the listener making for a more passive listening experience. s t a r g a z e bring Boards of Canada’s first EP to life through a live performance style that is vibrant and exhilarating to watch. The audience is transfixed as their eyes are drawn to the many different focal points on stage as the musicians use their whole bodies to produce sound in a way that is totally unexpected. Performers tear pieces of newspaper into microphones, use a sweeping brush to emulate the sound of a record being played and clap their hands and feet to build up incredible layers of sound; one musician even sings face on into the bell of his French horn to create distortion.
The orchestra travels seamlessly through the different movements of Hi Scores, performing Turquoise Hexagon Sun and June 9th before ending the set with Everything You Do is a Balloon. s t a r g a z e return for an encore to rapturous applause and perform a highly emotive cover of Olson from Boards of Canada’s 1998 debut album, Music Has the Right to Children. The musicians encourage the audience to sing along to the melody as they abandon their instruments one by one, standing side by side at the edge of the stage until the theatre is filled with the sounds of a capella singing. s t a r g a z e exit to a standing ovation and the audience can still be heard singing, humming and whistling the refrain as they exit the building.