Composed for 4 percussion
Percussion 1: Cymbal (and stand); Sistra; Small Triangle; Chikitas; Small Woodlblock; Djembe; Small Floor Totm-tom; Tibetan singing bowl
Percussion 2: Cymbal (and stand); Sistra; Large Triangle; Large Maracas; Castanets; Bongos; Large Floor Tom-tom; Tibetan singing bowl
Percussion 3: Large Tam-tam; Tambourine; Claves; 4 Concert Tom-toms; Orchestral Bass Drum
Percussion 4: Large Tam-tam; Tambourine; Cabasa; 2 Cowbells; Congas; Orchestral Bass Drum

Duration: 73 minutes

Salomé, starring the Russian-born actress Alla Nazimova, is a rarely seen artwork of film history adapted from the controversial Oscar Wilde play with an abundance of sumptuously fantastic visuals.Made in 1923, Salomé loosely follows the biblical story of King Herod and his desire for his young stepdaughter. It is Salomé’s desire for Jokanaan (John the Baptist) that causes her to dance before Herod….Inspired by the sounds of traditional Arabian ensembles, Charlie Barber’s score is performed by four percussionists against a backdrop of pre-recorded vocal settings of psalms sung in Latin and Hebrew.

First performance at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth on 10 October 2009
with percussionists Nick Baron, James Hulme, Alun Hathaway, Dave Danford

Salomé website

The Guardian, 3 November 2009

South Wales Argus, 4 November 2009

WalesOnline, 5 April 2012

Seen and Heard International review

Lichfield Live review

Manchester Pride interview

10.10.09PORTSMOUTHNew Theatre Royal
14.10.09MALVERNForum Theatre
17,10.09LONDONDrill Hall
19.10.09MILTON KEYNESThe Stables
21.10.09PONTARDAWEArts Centre
22.10.09PWLLHELINeuadd Dwyfor
23.10.09HOLYHEADUcheldre Centre
28.10.09LIVERPOOLUnity Theatre
30.10.09BRISTOLSt Georges
07.11.09CARMARTHENLyric Theatre
12.11.09SPALDINGSouth Holland Centre
13.11.09HALESWORTHThe Cut
14.11.09COLCHESTERLakeside Theatre
28.10.11TEWKESBURYRoses Theatre
29.10.11MANCHESTERRoyal Northern College of Music
24.01.12MOLDClwyd Theatr Cymru
25.01.12MOLDClwyd Theatr Cymru
26.01.12ABERGAVENNYBorough Theatre
27.01.12CARDIGANTheatr Mwldan
09.02.12LONDONSouthbank Centre, Purcell Room
16.02.12LANCASTERNuffield Theatre
01.03.12SWANSEATaliesin Arts Centre
03.03.12BRAYMermaid Arts Centre, Ireland
05.03.12KILKENNYWatergate Theatre, Ireland
07.03.12SLIGOHawkes Well Theatre, Ireland
08.03.12NEWBRIDGERiverbank, Ireland
11.03.12TRALEESiamsa Tire, Ireland
03.04.12CARDIFFSherman Cymru
06.07.12CHELTENHAMMusic Festival
07.03.18LIVERPOOLCornerstone Festival
08.11.19SOUTHAMPTONTurner Sims Concert Hall
16.11.19CARDIFFWales Millennium Centre

The Fall of the House of Usher

music for Jean Epstein’s 1928 classic silent horror movie

Version for wind orchestra

picc; 2 fl; 2 ob; 3 cl; b cl; 2 a sax; t sax; b sax; 2 bsn; cbsn
3 tpt; 4 hn; 2 tbn; b tbn; 2 euph; tba
timp; 3 percussion

Duration: 70 minutes

Commissioned by Ty Cerdd

The Fall of the House of Usher (France 1928) is probably Jean Epstein’s best-known work in which the quality of the photography evokes comparison with the greatest masterpieces of the German cinema.For this new interpretation, Charlie Barber’s score takes as its starting point musical sketches by Debussy for an uncompleted opera – adding a further twist to the foreboding atmosphere of this classic of early cinema. 

First performance at Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen on 13 April 2012 by the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales and conducted by Sean O’Neill

13.04.12CARMARTHENLyric Theatre
14.04.12NEWPORTThe Riverfront
15.04.12NEATHGwyn Hall

The Fall of the House of Usher website

Version for chamber orchestra

1 fl; 1 ob; 1 b cl; 1 bsn/cbsn
1 hn; 1 tpt; 1 tbn; 1 tba
1 perc
3 vln; 2 vla; 1 vcl; db

First performed by Sound Affairs at Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham on 22 October 2014 with Pedro Lopez Campos (flute), Michele Batani (oboe), Tom Howells (bass clarinet), Bartosz Kwasecki (contrabassoon), Jason Owen Lewis (trumpet), Hugh Sisley (horn), Stephanie Dyer (trombone), Rob Graham-White (tuba), Michael Clark (percussion), Vlad Maistorovici (violin), Christiana Mavron (violin), Javier Garcia Aranda (violin), Niamh Ferris (viola), Alison D’Souza (viola), Alberto Casadei (cello), Ashley John Long (double bass)

22.10.14NOTTINGHAMLakeside Arts Centre
23.10.14CARDIFFWales Millennium Centre
24.10.14ABERYSTWYTHArts Centre
30.10.14MANCHESTERRoyal Northern College of Music
31.10.14BRECONTheatr Brycheiniog
03.11.14LIVERPOOLCapstone Theatre, Hope University

Further information here

Version for soprano saxophone and string quartet

First performed by the ensemble Entr’acte at Chapter Cinema 1, Cardiff on 26 January 2002 with Simon Stewart (soprano saxophone), Jonathan Burnett (violin), Nicolas Ramirez (violin), Rachel Robson (viola), Sharon McKinley (cello)

26.01.02CARDIFFChapter Cinema
01.02.02HARLECHTheatr Ardudwy
02.02.02FISHGUARDTheatr Gwaun
08.02.02ABERGAVENNYMelville Theatre, Drama Centre
16.11.19BRASOVVibrate Festival

Further information here

“When you watch silent movies with the right live music, you realise that it wasn’t simpy the novelty of moving pictures that brought people into the cinema in their millions. There was real drama and life in these works. Barber works with quintet Entr’acte to feed off the film’s manic obsessions and ratchet up the emotions…Images and music combine to riveting effect.”
John Harrison, The Western Mail, 31 January 2002

Blood of a Poet (Le sang d’un poète)

For four players:
ob, b cl,  vln, perc (marimba, bongos)

Duration: 50 minutes

Jean Cocteau’s Le sang d’un poète (Blood of a Poet) (1930) explores the technical capabilities of film to magically transcend time, to capture creativity and to suspend physical laws. One of the true classics of the cinema and a key work of Surrealism, Cocteau’s first film is an aesthetic tour de force consisting of a series of episodes and imaginary events. The strange and disturbing images and trick photography represent Cocteau’s unique view of “the poet’s inner self”. Cocteau’s combination of visual poetry and theatrical camp makes this a rich, fascinating and enigmatic film. 

First performance at Chapter Cinema, Cardiff on 28 October 2006
with Nick Williams (oboe), Alison Lambert (bass clarinet), Aibhe Smythe (violin), Hugh Wilkinson (percussion)

29.10.06CARDIFFChapter Arts Centre
01.11.06CRANBROOKQueens Hall
03.11.96AMMANFORDMiners Theatre
04.11.06LEICESTERPhoenix Arts
05.11.06NORWICHArts Centre
07.11.06LLANTWIT MAJORSt Donats Arts Centre
09.11.06ABERYSTWYTHNational Library of Wales
10.11.06HOLYHEADUcheldre Centre
15.11.06PORTSMOUTHNew Theatre Royal
16.11.06SWANSEADylan Thomas Centre
17.11.06MOLDClwyd Theatr Cymru
19.11.06BASINGSTOKECentral Studio
02.12.06LONDONBarbican Cinema

Further information, videos and photos here

Moulin Rouge

For four players:
vln, b cl, perc (marimba & bongos), DJ

Duration: 70 minutes

Made in 1928, Moulin Rouge is the story of an eternal love triangle set in the world of entertainment. Though described as “Britain’s first Superfilm”, the overall  impression is far from British. Directed by Ewald André Dupont and featuring Russian actress Olga Tschechowa, the elaborate sets and rich shadowy lighting in particular recall the contemporary German cinema.Charlie Barber’s new score – performed by four musicians and DJ – is influenced by both traditional Parisian cabaret and contemporary urban culture.

First performance at Chapter Cinema, Cardiff on 6 November 2004
with Thoby Davis (violin), Steve Moss (bass clarinet), Matthew West (percussion), DJ Jaffa

06.11.04CARDIFFChapter Arts Centre
13.11.04HOLYHEADUcheldre Centre
16.11.04GLASGOWFilm Theatre
19.11.04TREORCHYParc & Dare
20.11.04BIRMINGHAMMidlands Arts Centre
21.11.04NOTTINGHAMBroadway Cinema
23.11.04PONTARDAWEArts Centre
24.11.04ABERYSTWYTHNational Library
25.11.04HARLECHTheatr Ardudwy
26.11.04COLWYN BAYTheatr Colwyn
28.11.04LONDONThe Space
01.12.04BRISTOLCube Cinema

Further information, videos and photos here

Copyright © 2022 Charlie Barber. All rights reserved.

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