With a huge performing force and an audience of more than 700, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group was obliged to abandon its customary CBSO Centre base on Sunday.

Instead it pitched camp in the ICC's remarkably versatile Hall 3, a huge, tent-like space with handy galleries and staircases, softly, warmly lit and where listeners could wander around at will.

The image of homelessness is entirely appropriate for the most substantial work on this all-Italian programme, the 45-minute Mouth, Feet, Sound by Salvatore Sciarrino, inspired by the plight of Albanian immigrants to Italy after the recent wars in Yugoslavia, and attempting new definitions of the borders between music, articulation and silence in a stunningly theatrical way.

Solo saxophonists (John Harle, Christian Forshaw, Simon Haram, Kyle Horch) signal to each other from the four points of the compass. Sustained pitches bounce one to the other, clicking, almost plucking keypads add percussiveness, virtuoso harmonics slide chromatically and eerily.

A rustling like the approach of hordes of distant locusts becomes gradually apparent - over 100 saxophonists (the National Saxophone Choir and others) rattling their keys, breathing life into their instruments.

They begin a slow procession down the staircases into the auditorium, shuffling at random among the audience, the lowing, quiet wailing and clicking of their instruments a constant, gently overwhelming presence.

Suddenly a louder sequence of notes from the soloists coerces the masses to turn numbly towards a single exit, only for the action to freeze before they can all disappear. Some subtly brilliant logistics brought about this stunning ending, enthusiastically applauded.

Equally compelling was Bruno Maderna's Serenata per un Satellite, an exquisite single page of striking musical cells, realised into a brilliantly satisfying structure by Sunday's director/conductor Peter Wie-gold and expertly performed by BCMG, with solo oboe and saxophone slowly spinning around the main centre and drifting away into eventual extinction: magical.

Luciano Berio's Accordo has points of contact with the Sciarrino, with its compass-point performing groups, but here all is carnival gaiety, with four different bands colliding in a glorious cacophony of self-chosen Italian popular song, operatic excerpts, marches and so on.

Though the simple idea over-extends itself, this proved an exhilarating display of community music-making from Birmingham Schools' Music Service, Birmingham Symphonic Winds, Birmingham Conservatoire and Telford New Symphony Orchestra Winds.

Christopher Morley