A cave may not be the first venue we think of when hosting a concert but take a lift up to the Heights of Abraham later this month and you will be in for a surprise.
Derbyshire born and bred Alec Curtis, along with friends from university in London, received an Arts Council grant to host a concert inside the Great Masson Cave, at the Heights of Abraham, in Matlock, with two highly regarded music composers.
It will premiere music by French composer Eliane Radigue and Birmingham-born/London based electronic producer and DJ Lee Gamble. Organisers say the acoustics of the cave will greatly enhance the two pieces of music which have been composed especially for the cave environment. The music will be performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Alec said: "It is quite an experimental event and we are really excited to be bringing it to a location outside of London.
"We have organised coaches to bring guests from London and Manchester, but the majority of the tickets do not include coach travel and so we are marketing these towards a local Midlands audience.
"The diversity of the audience will make the day really special and the event has been designed so that guests are able to socialise, meet like-minded music fans and share their experiences.
"The whole event will be taking place inside Great Masson Cave at the Heights of Abrahams, where the compositions will have a special relationship to the acoustics and spirit of the cave, and both pieces will be constructed with the cave at the forefront of the process.
"The pilgrimage to the Peak District sets out to reproduce the sonic sphere of Eliane Radigue in which the natural surroundings compel the audience to listen to her intricately evolving music on a deeper level.
"Radigue's patient compositions focus on space, depth and the spirit of a landscape. They have the power to make the listener feel more present in time and place."
Eliane's visit was made possible by a friend of Alec's, Shiva Feshareki, who is an experimental classical composer working closely with the physicality of sound in relation to light, movement and sculpture.
Alec said: "She is also a presenter on London's NTS Radio where she met me. Shiva and I shared our disparate music influences as we became friends, with Shiva talking passionately about the French electroacoustic composer Eliane Radigue, well known for studying under the direction of Musique Concrète pioneers Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry."
Shiva Feshareki visited Eliane in Paris earlier this year. Their casual meeting ended with Eliane offering her latest composition to Shiva in order for her to organise its first public performance, allowing Shiva to fulfil her dream of hearing Eliane's music inside a reverberant cave.
Until recently, Eliane composed exclusively with the ARP 2500 modular synthesiser and so to honour this shift from electronic to exclusively acoustic composition, Shiva commissioned electronic producer Lee Gamble to create his first ever acoustic composition.
Soloists from the London Contemporary Orchestra have been working closely with Lee Gamble to bring to life his first acoustic works. Lee is originally an electronic producer and DJ.
Alec said of his unusual venue: "After weeks of cave research we decided to work with the Heights of Abrahams as its main cave has fantastic acoustic qualities that the musicians were impressed by.
"The breathtaking views and cable car also enhance the experience and more closely connect the audience with the music."
The event will be held from 4pm to 8pm on Sunday, September 17 and further details are available by visiting www.facebook.com/events/1937060883236541 and tickets are available via www.residentadvisor.net/events/999153