First Night: Goldie 'Sine Tempore', Royal Albert Hall, London

4.00

Classical evolution for drum 'n' bass star in Proms

Goldie would not be the first choice for children's entertainment. The gold-toothed artist and producer, famous for his pioneering drum 'n' bass music of the Nineties, has always been one to make a statement.

Having grown up in children's care homes, he unleashed pent-up anger by creating aggressive, and immensely powerful, tracks such as Temper Temper, and in his street art. The centrepiece of his recent graffiti exhibition, The Kids Are All Riot, was a self-portrait of the artist swearing.

But on Saturday, Goldie officially added a new form of art to his repertoire – classical composition – when the world premiere of his first piece written for an orchestra took place at this year's family prom.

Many of the crowd would have watched an intrepid Goldie trying his hand at conducting in the BBC's Maestro programme last year and go on to take second place in the competition (Sue Perkins took first place). This was despite his never having played a musical instrument and being unable to read music. Following his unexpected success, Goldie was invited by the Proms' director Roger Wright to compose a six to seven minute classical composition to be performed six months later.

To meet this Prom's Charles Darwin theme of evolution, Goldie named his creation Sine Tempore, the Latin for "timeless".

Anyone wary of the 44-year-old's suitability to a family audience needn't have been. In the first part of a two-part BBC documentary, Classic Goldie, tracking his progress, he expressed his intentions for his composition: "I want it to be upbeat and hearty, and not so much in the depths of despair of my soul – it can be a dark place, my soul. I've lived in the past too long and need to move on."

If this were an attempt to leave his past behind, and embody the theme of rebirth via a new more upbeat music, he succeeds to an extent – there will always be a darkness there.

Starting off with drums signifying the Big Bang, from the darkness of his soul came the eerie screeching of a waterphone, an atonal instrument recognisable for its use in horror film scores. Joined by tribal drumming, tubular bells, wordless hissing vocals, and some abrupt dissonant piano, it instantly set the listener on edge.

Then, from the darkness came a break. He built layers of sound, until the full BBC Concert Orchestra was playing and both male and female sides of the London Philharmonic Choir were singing joyously. (Setting aside the fact that the vocal melody sounded suspiciously like the opening notes of Land of Hope and Glory), there was a climactic moment: a chord so uplifting from the women's choir that the piece opened up, conjuring the sense of an opening dawn.

Goldie's drum 'n' bass could be characterised by its tendency to start off slowly and burst into high-energy sound. Sine Tempore, by comparison, was full of dynamics, and focused above all on rhythm and timbre.

He gradually shifted the orchestra from quieter moments, including a beautiful low-register cello part, back into fuller passages, creating the contours of a sound sculpture. Most impressive was the way in which he made full use of the entire orchestra, the choir, and the Albert Hall's awe-inspiring organ – sometimes all at once.

In fact, the piece was nowhere near as terrifying as Jon Leifs' volcano-inspired Hekla, fuelled by a cacophony of percussion including canon shots, sirens, and the hammer, performed earlier in the concert.

You couldn't have expected Bach's counter-point and the composition, lacking harmony, benefited from its short length. However, it was remarkable how comfortably the piece sat alongside the other 20th and 21st century compositions showcased that day.

"When you learn a form of graffiti, you can do any form of art," Goldie has said.

He says the same thing about music in the documentary: "If you can make drum 'n' bass music, you can make any form of music you like."

Goldie has proven himself again.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
TVDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
Arts and Entertainment
Laugh a minute: Steph Parker with Nigel Farage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Comic Ivor Dembina has staged his ‘Traditional Jewish Xmas Eve Show’ for the past 20 years; the JNF UK charity is linked to the Jewish National Fund, set up to fund Jewish people buying land in Palestinian territories
comedy

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?