Blowin' Hot 'n' Cold

By Simon Worthington, 10 September 2001

Simon Worthington on Io, one of Jupitor's moons

Follow the links and you will come to a picture of the volcanic surface of Io, one of Jupiter’s moons photographed by the Hubble telescope. []

Io is peppered with fiery volcanoes, with geyser-like eruptions hundreds of kilometres high and temperatures the hottest in the solar system outside of the sun, yet most of the surface is bitterly cold. Io, the London-based orchestra, create music as dramatic as their lunar namesake.

Io, the orchestra, wander far and wide creating a landscape which ranges from the minimalism of Philip Glass to brass-led Latin Jazz, from Drum ‘n’ Bass to mesmeric jazz solo pieces. With so many players in the orchestra and the heady infusion of musical genres you might expect an audial M25 pile-up, a cacophony. But this is far from the case, instead the virtuoso qualities of the musicians leads to an astounding cohesion. It is not only in the arrangements that the orchestra works so well, it is in their very apparent control of their instruments and knowledge of their music which allows them to unashamedly do ‘Bad’ things to the music.

To see Io’s next performance check out their website [], in the meantime a number of Io members are involved in creating the music for a theatre production of James Gleick’s book FSTR at the Riverside Theatre this October. []

Simon Worthington <simon AT> is co-editor of Mute.