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Voices: balloons and boxing gloves

2 Oct 2017

Unusual Instrumental requests in Voices 

During Voices, fifteen players are asked by Henze to perform on over 70 instruments from around the world, which means often doubling up and playing multiple instruments. Players are also required to sing and speak in certain sections. Musical styles heard throughout the work can vary from traditional folk-song, to jazz and cabaret. Some of the unusual items players are required to use include a pair of boxing gloves and two balloons - one pink and one green (as specified by the composer). You can get an idea of other unorthodox instrumental requests from the photo gallery below or watch the video of us performing the entire work for Channel 4 back in 1989.

The work was originally scored for 15 players. The number may be augmented, however, according to possibilities and necessities of the available forces. The players, who at various times have to hum, talk and sing and form an a capella chorus. " Hans Werner Henze