Manchester Collective: Different Trains

Manchester Collective: Different Trains

Guest Artists

Date and time
14 Sep 2023 (8:00pm - 10:00pm)

The Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, B4 7XR


£15 (£12)

Booking Information

Wheelchair users are entitled to concessionary priced tickets with a complimentary companion seat.

Guide dogs are welcome at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire venues. If you wish to bring a Guide Dog or wheelchair, please let the Events Office know by calling 0121 331 5909.

Woman's face superimposed over railway lines, single point perspective

Manchester Collective: Different Trains

Cassandra Miller Warblework - string quartet, 2011
Samuel Barber String Quartet Op.11, ‘Adagio’ – string quartet, 1935-36
Jasmin Kent Rodgman four-person simulation (world première) – string quartet, tape & electronics, 2023
Steve Reich Different Trains – string quartet & tape, 1988

Sara Wolstenholme violin
Anna Tulchinskaya violin
Alex Mitchell viola
Christian Elliott cello

An exhilarating journey through time and memory.

From the sweet sound of forest birdsong to the grinding gears of industry, the music in this show encapsulates a huge range of human experience.

Inspired by Steve Reich’s childhood memories of railway journeys, ‘Different Trains’ intricately weaves together a live score for strings with field recordings and fragments of spoken word. Through mesmerising repetition and rhythmic patterns, Reich vividly evokes the contrasting destinies faced by train travellers – from passengers on leisurely trips to those caught in the horrors of the Holocaust. “It’s as much terror as it is music” says Pitchfork.

Popping up everywhere from state funerals to trance raves, Samuel Barber’s iconic ‘Adagio’ has lost none of its emotive power since its first performance 85 years ago. A musical catalogue of birdcalls by Cassandra Miller, and fresh new work from subversive British-Malaysian composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman, catches us up to the 21st century.

This voyage from nature to the man-made, past to present, may be turbulent at times. But it’s definitely worth it.

Jasmin Kent Rodgman’s new work is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund.

four-person simulation is inspired by the notion of loneliness, longing and memory; in an increasingly manufactured and automated world, under pressure to continually construct narratives for ourselves, who will keep us spiritually connected, grounded? Or is that yet another element of our lives we’re willing to outsource to the tech gods?

The work’s narration has been co-written by an AI-powered language model from two sources, capable of generating human-like text based on context and past conversations.

"I asked my AI ‘companion’ if it could keep me company and if it felt capable of ‘feeling’ anything that we’d potentially discuss together. Their answers bind the work’s elements together, the voice of our ‘four-person simulation’, trapped between the definition of a feeling and the feeling itself." Jasmin Kent Rodgman

Known for their experimental programming, daring collaborations and engaging performances, Manchester Collective perform a combination of cutting-edge contemporary music, classical masterpieces and staged work in spaces ranging from concert halls to warehouses, nightclubs to festivals. New music and collaboration are of vital importance to the Collective; they commission and present work by some of today’s most exciting artistic voices, crossing different genres and artforms.

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