Review: Antagony

“Approachable ... punchy writing, with a real rhythmic drive. The sheer spectacle and volume are compelling”

The Times on 4th April 1994, by Simon Broughton
BBC Young Musician of the Year, 1993—1994

What does it take to be the Young Composer of the Year? TV producer Simon Broughton set out to discover who makes music and why.

Tim Benjamin is 18. Hes tall, dark and wears a Siouxsie and the Banshees jacket and size 15 boots. Nothing unusual about that, except that Tim, a budding young composer, has written Antagony, a large-scale piece dramatising the situation and it has won the Lloyds Bank Young Composers Award. As a result, the piece was performed recently by the London Sinfonietta and appears on BBC television today.

Antagony made a big impact in the competition. As the composer Steve Martland, one of the judges, pointed out, it is very much a piece of the 1990s, unlike most of the other works in the competition.

The piece is contemporary in that the music is approachable and includes punchy writing for four saxophones and brass with a real rhythmic drive. The sheer spectacle and volume are compelling: the two wind bands often conflict with each other, there are some heavy blows on the percussion and a complex web of rumours on the log drums.

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