Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II

Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II

Two genre-defying artists come together for a phenomenal evening of electrifying sound. Sonic Youth co-founder and revered guitarist Lee Ranaldo presents the Australian premiere of his new work Hurricane Transcriptions (Last Night on Earth), a piece composed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which blew through New York in 2012. Sydney’s acclaimed classical innovators Ensemble Offspring grow to 21-strong to join Ranaldo, delivering an atmospheric soundtrack to the storm as it batters the city with howling winds and torrential rain.

Man of many guises and patron of the bizarre, Mike Patton tackles Luciano Berio’s 1965 composition Laborintus II, a montage of spoken word, instrumentation and electronics. Written to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the birth of Italian poet Dante Alighieri, this uncompromising piece incorporates avant garde jazz, eerie arrangements and chaotic noise. Patton, last at Sydney Festival with Mondo Cane, is joined by Ensemble Offspring and The Song Company to present this remarkable work.


Lee Ranaldo – Hurricane Transcriptions (Last Night on Earth)
Luciano Berio – Laborintus II


Lee Ranaldo (guitar)
Mike Patton (voice)
Sophie Cole, Kirsty Hilton, Anna McMichael, Veronique Serret, Emma West (violin)
Nicole Forsyth, Luke Spicer (viola)
Geoffrey Gartner, Andrew Hines (cello)
Elsen Price (bass)
Genevieve Lang, Natalie Wong (harp)
Lamorna Nightingale (flute)
Evan Guy, Jason Noble, Diana Springford (clarinet)
Darryl Carthew, Tim Crow, Melanie McLoughlin (trumpet)
Nigel Crocker, Ros Jorgensen, Brett Page (trombone)
Claire Edwardes, Bree van Reyk (percussion)

with The Song Company – conducted by Roland Peelman

Past Performances

Sydney Festival, City Recital Hall, 8pm Thursday 16th January, 2014


$69 – $89 cityrecitalhall.com
ALTERNATE TICKETING LINK – sydneyfestival.org.au


Download concert program here

Media & Acclaim

“The Ensemble Offspring performers are a talented bunch … and clearly enjoyed the piece they played so expertly”. Full review here

The Guardian

“Fans of the Sonic Youth rock star composer/performer didn’t go home empty-eared; the storm was interspersed with guitar and his singing reflections and generalizations in rhyming couplets, as the superb backing band Ensemble Offspring provided slightly subversive support.” 


“Various percussion was used to great effect throughout, most notably a giant wobble board beaten with mallets at the hurricane’s violent arrival” Full review here


“Roland Peelman conducted the Ensemble Offspring without time, his hands moving with the grace and fluidness of a mantis.” Full review here


“Joined by the Ensemble Offspring, the sound was layered from the near-silent pluckings of a violin until the addition of heavy percussion brought the figurative storm to a crescendo” Full review here

Brisbane Times

“The Ensemble Offspring orchestra excelled, especially in the quickfire transition to a demented big band uproar…The interplay between the words of Dante, Sanguineti, Eliot, Pound and the Bible—as sound—with the acoustic instrumentation and electronic score was exhilarating and, in the end, gently seductive…this moody, sometimes quite disturbing work made its mark in what was a standout festival concert.” Full review here


Click here for Sydney Morning Herald article “Lee Ranaldo brings perfect storm to life after surviving Sandy”