A conductor has taken off his jacket. He's wearing pink knitted gloves and is in the process of smearing popcorn on his face. The man is in fact performer Michael Hope, a composer who works far from old-fashioned sheet music. Hope explores sound, music and roles in the music world in his performances. I loved his piece about classical concert pianists and the way they mimic the extreme emotions of piano concertos like Rachmaninov's and Tchaikovsky's with their body language while playing. The work was performed earlier this year at the Royal Danish Academy of Music's Pulsar festival. In The Black Diamond on Thursday night, Hope embarked on a new performance; 'How Not to Shout' was the rather cool title, this time inspired by the fact that in a place like the Royal Library, you are expected not to make noise. Hope was on the floor with a conductor's baton and microphone, while doing his best to keep his voice down…he again showed his willingness to expose and poke fun by exploring music as broadly as possible. As sound. Or the absence of sound. But also as stage performance and as everything that is outside of sound in the creation of classical music.
Thomas Michelsen on Klang Festival 2023 for POLITIKEN (Original Article in Danish)
A totally unfounded fear, as Michael Hope in particular proved over the coming days. A charming cross between Simon Steen-Andersen and Victor Borge, he put comic ingenuity at the top of the festival's agenda…with the performance Born/Again, in which a video illustrated the similarity between piano virtuosos' mimicry and Hollywood renderings of Christ on the cross. Behind the grand piano, Hope himself mimed along after painstakingly donning a tuxedo, before finally - based on the maxim ‘laughter and a tear’ - hitting the keys himself as a touching, romantic virtuoso.
Sune Anderberg for SEISMOGRAF (Original Article in Danish)
The unexpected collaboration between electronic duo Pamela Angela and performance ensemble Current Resonance, for example, was a highlight. The way the gentle textures of Current Resonance's piano and clarinet weaved in and out of Pamela Angela's extremely synthetic universe of glitching electronics and autotuned vocals was powerful in its slightly uncertain, constantly shifting atmosphere, suggesting that this was not a seamlessly fused assimilation of two very different aesthetics, but rather that the two were interested in exploring the differences between them, drawing each other into the deep end.
Rasmus Weirup on MINU_festival_for_expanded_music 2022 for SEISMOGRAF (Original Article in Danish)