Portraits for a Study - a multi-venue simultaneous performance
On Saturday 22 February 2014 a unique simultaneous concert, inspired by the art of one of the world’s greatest living visual artists, Gerhard Richter will take place integrating four different venues. The concert will involve four Yamaha Disklavier pianos separated by 300 miles and remotely controlled by a parent Disklavier at Falmouth’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA), and played by just one live pianist, Roderick Chadwick. In addition, the same music re-composed by Jim Aitchison for the strings of the Kreutzer Quartet, will be performed back from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) to all the other venues via audio link.
This large-scale project is supported by Arts Council England, the PRS for Music Foundation, Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK), Falmouth University's Academy of Music and Theatre Arts, the Royal Academy of Music and the Unit for Sound Practice Research, Goldsmiths, University of London.
The project aims to translate paintings by Gerhard Richter, into new musical responses for solo piano, and string quartet. With music and technology at its heart the multi-venue simultaneous performance event will seek to evoke qualities of disturbance, blurring, erasure and absence, chance, multiples, sequences and memory; all qualities found in the paintings by Richter.
Taking place on Saturday 22 February 2014 from 7.30pm, the simultaneous performance will occur between Cornwall and London, at Falmouth University's Academy of Music and Theatre Arts, the Royal Academy of Music, Goldsmiths University and Yamaha Music London.
During the first part of the event, pianist Roderick Chadwick will perform Jim Aitchison's Portraits for a Study on a Yamaha Disklavier at AMATA in Falmouth, triggering the three remote Disklavier pianos in London to perform by themselves (via data transfer over broadband), to their respective audiences, precisely what he plays, exactly as performed, the keys and pedals moving, conveying the performer's original expression and phrasing. This, and projection of images from Richter's 2012 Tate Modern show, will appear in real time before those present.
In the second part of the event, Richter's practice of passing the same images through different processes will be evoked further when the same musical responses for piano are themselves passed through the filter of being re-composed for string quartet, which will then be performed by the Kreutzer Quartet at the RAM and transmitted back to all of the other venues via an audio link.
Jim, a composer based at both Falmouth University's Academy of Music and Theatre Arts and the Royal Academy of Music, said of the project; "This project represents a significant leap forward for me in terms of evolving a range of new ideas and approaches and working with some wonderfully skilled and generous collaborators. Responding to Richter has led me in directions that I would have never considered otherwise: sometimes into un-trodden territory, and at other times most unexpectedly leading me back to familiar ground but in a completely new way. This project has given me so much in terms of rethinking my procedures of making, and my attitudes to past and present."
Yamaha Music Institutional's Business Development Manager, David Halford states; "We are extremely proud of our partnership with Falmouth University's Academy of Music and Theatre Arts and to support their commitment to push the creative, technological and educational boundaries through groundbreaking musical initiatives like this, brought to life through the power of Disklavier. This project follows the success earlier this year of Elton John’s performance on the Falmouth University Disklavier and others around the world, from Los Angeles."
(Image caption for Dead by Gerhard Richter: From the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from October 18, 1977: The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection, gift of Philip Johnson, and acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest (all by exchange); Enid A. Haupt Fund; Nina and Gordon Bunshaft Bequest Fund; and gift of Emily Rauh Pulitzer © Gerhard Richter 2013)