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Shaolin Wheel Of Life Show Composer John Harle
John Harle

John is one of the world's leading saxophonists in the concert hall today. He has recorded more than 25 concerto and recital cds, and has performed in concerti with most of the major orchestras in the world. His solo recording of concerti by Debussy, Villa-Lobos and Glazunov has sold over 200,000 copies to date. As a performer he has toured throughout Europe, Scandinavia, USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. He has had over 25 concerti written for him by composers such as John Tavener, Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Mark Anthony Turnage, Michael Torke and Harrison Birtwistle.

In 1995, his outrageous performance of Birtwistle's saxophone concerto Panic, which he premiered at the Last Night of the Proms, propelled him to a level of high international recognition, and in 1996, John followed this performance with his own work, Terror and Magnificence, recorded by Decca, and performed by himself with Elvis Costello, which culminated in a sell-out concert at the Royal Festival Hall. In addition to his work as pioneer contemporary saxophonist, he's also a musical director and producer in a variety of fields, covering artists as diverse as Sir Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Moondog, Ute Lemper and Lesley Garrett. In his remarkable career Harle has written 35 concert works and over 100 film and television scores.

He was awarded the Royal Television Society award for Best Original Theme for his music for BBC1's Silent Witness in 1999, and was awarded Best Artistic Contribution to a Feature Film alongside fellow composer Stanley Myers at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival for "Prick up your Ears".

Musical Inspiration "The extraordinary spectacle of the Shaolin Monks 'Wheel of Life' show is a densely layered experience. The sight of the 20 monks performing the most breathtaking feats imaginable, all part of a contemporary work of theatre, alongside the realisation that the history of this incredible group is over 1500 years old, gives a unique depth to the production. This marriage of old and new is so rich in parallels with music that the task of writing a score for this show became a sheer joy." "In the music for 'Shaolin Wheel of Life' I have tried to make a similar amalgamation of musical-historical references and contemporary sound, creating a version of musical surrealism whereby music from the depths of our memories and from the past is superimposed onto a lattice work of modern rhythm and harmony." "The tolling Temple bell, and the neo-gothic Shaolin Theme remind us that we are in the presence of important spiritual and mystical forces, whilst the energetic percussive grooves let these young performers amaze us with their heartstopping spectacle of dance, movement and martial arts." John Harle
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