Jarvis Cocker joins Kronos Quartet and David Coulter for the world premiere of his new piece Kerf.

San Francisco's Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet continues its tradition of storied Barbican appearances in this one-of-a-kind 40th-anniversary celebration.

The evening features commissioned works by favourite composers and collaborators from throughout Kronos's history, including the world premieres of 40 Canons, a piece for quartet and electric guitar by Bryce Dessner (guitarist of American indie rock band, The National) who joins Kronos on stage, and a new work entitled Kerf: a dialogue between a saw, an electric organ and a string quartet, commissioned by the Barbican and written for Kronos Quartet and David Coulter by Jarvis Cocker (arr. Jacob Garchik), with Jarvis Cocker performing on organ/keyboard alongside the quartet and David Coulter on musical saw; UK premieres by Terry Riley (The Serquent Risadome), Philip Glass (String quartet No.6) and Ukrainian singer, actress and composer Mariana Sadovska (Chernobyl. The Harvest). The evening also sees the UK premiere of Kronos at 40, a film by Sam Green.

About Kerf, Cocker writes: "’Kerf’ is a term used to describe the width of cut produced by a saw blade. Fretted or keyed instruments have set intervals between musical notes but this does not apply to the saw or the instruments in a string quartet. The piece is partly an exploration of how wide you can make the gap between ‘versions’ of the same note before they cease to sound like the same note at all. The electric organ got involved because it was the only instrument in a functioning state in my basement when David Coulter and I first met to devise the piece. Some of its operational quirks became essential to the sound of Kerf. I am incredibly honoured to have been asked to contribute to this celebration of the 40-year long existence of the Kronos Quartet. Happy Birthday!”

A one-of-a-kind 40th-anniversary celebration featuring new music by Philip Glass, Bryce Dessner and Jarvis Cocker
Tue 13 May 2014 / Hall/ 20:00
Tickets £20 – 35