Personhood review — merry mayhem kicks off the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Alarm bells ring in my brain and despair grips my soul when the programme note for a new composition begins with the words “what does it mean to be a person …”. Music can stimulate profound thoughts about who we are, of course, but not usually when that aim is spelt out like a beginner’s guide to psychoanalysis.
That said, Personhood by Jennifer Walshe — the sparky Irish art-music provocateur who is now professor of composition at the University of Oxford — is surprisingly entertaining and mercifully pithy, especially for a work opening the deeply earnest Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Just 50 minutes long, it is chiefly focused on the extraordinary multi-tasking skills of Andreas Borregaard who is, as Rowan Atkinson might have put