Tag Archives: Music

The Nine Realms: Our Next Epic Collaboration

1 Oct

Vikings

Vikings Ahoy!

On Monday the 6th October 2014 our next epic large-scale project will be starting with the posting of an overview of the realm Asgard in Norse Mythology. The online part of our collaboration will run for 9 months and is inspired by the 9 realms of the Norse world. Like with Transformations,  The Nine Realms will culminate in a 5 day exhibition in Hanse House, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, UK across the Heritage Open Day weekend.  We’re not only excited to deepen our connection with King’s Lynn, but to also draw in more disciplines. There’s going to be music, a Viking boat is being carved my sculptor Mark Crowley and we’re having a comic corner and a more up-front promotions corner for the creatives involved.

This year we are bringing together near on 50 creatives from all disciplines, some have crossed over from Transformations and there are well over 20 new creatives being showcased. So there is a good mix.  Excitingly, by the end of the project not only will the creatives involved have created their own personal Nine Realms, but they will also have created a collective Nine Realms which can be used to introduce new audiences and young people to this material. It can be used as an innovative, educational tool.  We learned a lot from the great schools’ day we had with King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn in relation to this.

As with Transformations, I will be posting out an overview of each realm month by month along with deadlines for the submission of the writing (poetry, prose etc). I will also attach writing prompts and an audio of one of the stories as well. We will be drawing from both the Prose and Poetc Eddas as well as other source material. The order will be as follows:

October 2014: Asgard (Month 1, Realm of the Warrior Gods)

November 2014: Vanaheim (Month 2, Realm of the Vanir, the gods associated with wisdom, nature, magic and fertility)

December 2014: Jutenheim (Month 3, Realm of the Giants)

January 2015: Nidavellir (Month 4, Realm of the Dwarves)

February 2015: Nifelheim (Month 5, Realm of the Dead, where evil men die)

March 2015: Helheim (Month 6, The Realm of the Dead, which men pass through in order to die in Nifelheim)

April 2015: Muspelheim (Month 7, Realm of Fire)

May 2015: Midgard (Month 8, Realm of the People)

June 2015: Alfheim (Month 9, Realm of the Light Elves)

During April/May we will collectively run a Kickstarter campaign for one aspect of our project.

The Writing: 

In this collaboration writers can chose to write in whichever form they like- prose, poetry play-format etc.

In alignment with the Norse Sagas themselves there will be a focus on ORALITY and storytelling, and work will be centred around the themes of POWER, NATURE and RELIGION.  There will also be a focus on translation and rhythm, and we are hoping that a separate off-shoot project can grow from this when we translate what we do into different languages. The writers are free to be as modern and contemporary as they like, but still keeping a feeling of magic.

At the exhibition, in contrast to Transformations, the writing will be communicated to the audience orally/in person or by recording. The oral communication of the poetry in Transformations was such a success that we want to get even more people actively involved and engaged with the writing in The Nine Realms.

As we go through the realms month by month the writers will be submitting their work in both a written and oral format/mp3. The idea being that we will create and record an oral version of the writing within the project. The poems will also be placed into a Nine Realms playlist on Soundcloud. This alongside some specially commissioned pieces of music will be turned into a CD and performed across the 5 days at the exhibition.

We are also intending to take the writing into libraries: one in King’s Lynn and the other in Norwich and have a theme of storytelling.

The writers will be submitting one piece (or more if they wish), and there will be a selection process at the end in relation to which pieces go into the exhibition.

The 22 Poets and Writers are: 

Nat Hall
Eleanor Perry
Mina Polen
Stephannie Brennan
James Knight
Lydia Allison
Ross Beattie
Rebecca Audra Smith
Joanna Lee
Jim C Mackintosh
Robert de Born
Richard Biddle
Karin Heyer
Kate Garrett
Greg Mackie
Shirley Golden
Adam Wimbush
Carol Robson
John Mansell
Tom Murphy
Lenka Monk

 

The Music:

This year we have decided to bring music into our project and we have commissioned three musicians and composers to write 3, 8 minute pieces to represent the realms:

Ruth Angell, violinist, singer, amongst other instruments will be composing music for Asgard, Vanaheim and Nifelheim

Shaun Blezard, a creative technologist, will be composing music for Jotunheim, Helheim, and Nidavellir. Shaun composed the music for The Recovery Project we did the year before last.

Simon Beavis, a music maker, is composing music for Muspelheim, Alfheim and Midgard

We are hoping that there will be a live performance of the music along with the poetry at the exhibition, and the compositions will be used in-between poems and as a background to the poetry. The music will set the tone of the realms. ArtiPeeps and I are thrilled to be working with these composers and to bring in this new element.

We are in the process of consolidating a partnership with Future Radio in Norwich and all being well we will be recording the CD at their studio in Norwich.

The Art:

We have also attached 19 artists to the Realms. 2 per realm (with the exception of Muspelheim which has 3). As with Transformations, they cross a range of styles and mediums including photography and sculpture. Each artist, with the help of the ‘woolly viking hat of fate’, has been allocated a realm from the 9,  which they can create for themselves inspired by the poetry and prose written about their realm by the Realms writers, and by their own research and the project overviews. The artists, if they wish, can create pictures for the individual realms as they go along, but only their allocated realm will be exhibited. For those artists outside of the UK, the same pattern as Transformations will be followed and we will frame a high quality 300 dpi image of their work on their behalf. The original will be available for sale through the artist.

The artists involved are:

Deborah Sheehy (Month 1, Oct. Asgard)
Diana Probst (Month 1, Oct. Asgard)
To be confirmed (Month 2, Nov. Vanaheim)
Heather Burns (Month 2, Nov. Vanaheim)
Ieuan Edwards (Month 3, Dec. Jotunheim)
Jasmine Reynolds (Month 3, Dec. Jotunheim)
Jeremy Moseley (Month 4, Jan. Nidavellir)
Cliona Sheehan (Month 4, Jan. 2015, Nidavellir)
Charlie Redding (Month 5, Feb. 2015, Nifelheim)
Rob Fitzmaurice (Month 5, Feb, Nifelheim)
Ryan Atkins (Month 6, March, Helheim)
Lili Morgan (Month 6, March, Helheim)
Gill Offley (Month 7, April, Muspelheim)
Chad Swanson (Month 7, April, Muspelheim)
Mark Peverley (Month 7,April, Muspelheim)
James Mackenzie (Month 8, May Midgard)
Raymond Bentley (Month 8, May Midgard)
Elaine Offley (Month 9, June Alfheim)
Ann Supan (Month 9 June Alfheim)

 

Our Partners:

Elizabeth and Lisa

The lovely Elizabeth and Lisa from Florida USA will also be involved with us again. This time actually creating a hard-copy comic inspired by the characters and realms of Norse Mythology. This hard-copy version will be made available to attendees at the exhibition, and act, once again, as a entry point for younger people and adults. As mentioned above, this year we’re going to have a comic corner and hopefully get the comic animated….Watch this space….

We are also going to be continuing our collaboration with both Hanse House and Deborah Services Limited, King’s Lynn, who provided our exhibition scaffolding.

King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn:

I’m thrilled to say that as a direct result of the great schools’ day we had with Transformations KES Academy in King’s Lynn want to get involved with our Norse project this year. They want to involve the art and english departments and their pupils. We are fleshing out what this will look like at the moment and I’ll let you know as more details unfold.

Millfield School, Somerset,

Millfield and their pupils took up a FreeSpace with us last year, and one of their post’s on ArtiPeeps got Freshly Pressed. The quality of Millfield’s young poets is apparent. We’re thrilled that they want to work alongside us on this project. Pupils of all ages will be writing their own myths and stories which will more than likely be posted out on ArtiPeeps as we go along. This is all being firmed up now.

We will be incorporating the work of both KES and Millfield into our exhibition. The exact way this will be done will be confirmed shortly…Watch this space…

Future Radio

Future Radio is a community radio station in Norwich, Norfolk, which broadcasts a breadth of user-created programmes to Norwich on a daily basis. It also runs courses in radio production and has a recording studio in which we are hoping to record the music and poetry for The Nine Realms. We are also hoping that they will interview our creatives and perhaps get involved with the storytelling workshops we hope to put on in libraries. Watch this space on this one too.

As with Transformations, as The Nine Realms evolves, new partnerships will emerge, and I shall keep you up-to-date as we move along.

The Funding of our project:

From this point onwards I will be applying to a variety of funders and sponsors in order to finance what we are creating. Through October and November the Chair of ArtiPeeps and I will be preparing budgets and I will start writing applications in November/December. This is a big project and therefore we are approaching a breadth of potential funders. They will range from local authorities, to public money funders, to foundations, to individual sponsors. We will also, as mentioned above, be holding a Kickstarter Campaign for one aspect of our collaboration. I have no doubt in my heart and my head that we can fund this rich, magical, multi-discipline project which is filled with such a range of talented creatives.

I’m excited to kick the whole project off with the Asgard overview next week, and I’m 100% sure that The Nine Realms’ Vikings will create something of high quality once again that inspires, innovates and promotes creativity as well as showing how relevant the Norse myths still are!

Thank you for your interest!

Nicky

P.S. We should shortly have a project logo for the Nine Realms created by Gary Caldwell

Advertisements

FreeSpace #3 Nat Hall and Lili Morgan: On the theme of ‘Music’

21 Oct

Here’s the last  ‘FreeSpace’ Collaborations put together by poet Nat Hall and artist Lili Morgan inspired by the theme of  ‘Music’.  This time Lili was inspired to create by Pavarotti and his classic version of Nessun Dorma  (See here) .  Lili passed her work onto Nat who produced the poem below in response. 

>>>>

Music Collab 2

 

.

none shall sleep

by Nat Hall

.

below the drapes of green & gold,
below the thirsty Hunter’s moon,
………..below the stars’ dancing eyelids;

above the turmoil of each tide,
above that thin layer of mist,
………..above the edge of your canvas –

.
in between my eyes & your shore,
in between now and Aquilla,
………..in between sheets of the north wind,
………………………………………………………..we shall not sleep

.
below blotched dots of question marks,
above my doubt-rocking silence,
………………….in between words we never said

.
en-dessous des feuilles d’érable,
en-dessus des giffles du sel,
…………………entre les dentelles du désir,

.
………………………………………………nous ne nous endormirons pas
………mais dans la chaleur de septembre,
dans l’azur de ton crépuscule,
regarde-moi le coeur en face et
dis-moi qu’on y fait
son lit.

.
© Nat Hall 2013

.

You can find out more about Nat and her work here:

http://nordicblackbird.weebly.com/index.html

or follow Nat on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

You can follow Lili  on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/LiliMorganArt

.

FreeSpace #2 Nat Hall and Lili Morgan: On the theme of ‘Music’

14 Aug

Here’s the second of 3 ‘FreeSpace’ Collaborations put together by poet Nat Hall and artist Lili Morgan inspired by the theme of  ‘Music’.  Nat’s poem was passed to Lili to provide her with the inspiration for her painting below. We hope you enjoy it!

>>>>

In memoriam, Giuseppe Verdi*

L’homme qui plantait des notes

(The Man Who Planted Notes)

Feel dawn.

.
In between two juniper trees,
lingering mist & wild fennel,
I hear songbirds pronounce his name.
Songthrush,
la grive musicienne,
found in a pine a pedestal
to celebrate the musician – Melodious,
Orphean, warblers in olive groves in need of a maestro.

.
Breathe in sunrise.

.
On every hill,
where shepherds drive ash-coloured herds to
the sound of footsteps & fifres*,
ascending scent of morning dew connects his dreams to land & thyme.
Hear the wingbeat of the gerfaut*
inside still rows of lavender,
Mistral waking
between
roof tiles & Mourre Nègre*

.
where evergreen oaks through
their leaves echo the song of hidden streams,
and acorns shape notes on
score sheets.

.
La force du destin*,

.
Ugolin’s love* behind shutters,
…………the great symphony has begun.

.
© Nat Hall 2013

.
Notes:

.
*Giuseppe Verdi, on his 200th Birthday (1813-2013). Italian Romantic composer & most influential of
his century. Composer of many operas, whose work includes La Forza del Destino, 10 Nov 1862.

.
*fifre(s): fife(s), in homage to Jean Giono’s Le Serpent d’Etoiles / The Serpent of Stars (1933)

.
*gerfaut: gyrfalcon, in homage to Alphonse Daudet’s La Chèvre de Monsieur Seguin, from Les Lettres
de Mon Moulin / Letters From My Windmill (1869)

.
*Mourre Nègre: Highest summit (3691ft, 1125m) from The Grand Luberon Mountain, Vaucluse,
Provence, France. Jean Giono nicknamed it “the blue whale/la baleine bleue”)

.
*La Force du destin/ La Forza del Destino – Ouverture, by Giuseppe Verdi, who inspired (in turn)Jean-
Claude Petit’s Theme of Jean de Florette for the 1986 film by Claude Berri, Jean de Florette/Manon
des Sources.

.
*Ugolin: Marcel Pagnol’s character, from the two-part novel, Jean de Florette & Manon des Sources
(1963)

.

FreeSpace 2.3

‘The Man Who Planted Notes’ by Lili Morgan painted in response to Nat’s poem above

.

.

You can find out more about Nat and her work here:

http://nordicblackbird.weebly.com/index.html

or follow Nat on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

You can follow Lili  on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/LiliMorganArt

.

FreeSpace #1 Nat Hall and Lili Morgan: On the theme of ‘Music’

3 Jul

Here’s the first of 3 ‘FreeSpace’ Collaborations put together by poet Nat Hall and artist Lili Morgan inspired by the theme of  ‘Music’.  Nat’s poem was passed to Lili to provide her with the inspiration for her painting below. We hope you enjoy it!

>>>>

PRELUDE

>>>>>
Every colour holds its own notes.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>It takes the Moon to know my mood…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Triads of tarnished red in gold,
>>>>>>>>>Debussy defined

>>>Clair de Lune.
Silver
tiara invisible,
I hold your canvas
with white
clefs,
as dusk
revives melancholy –
the other side of the mirror,
Frederic’s tears in arpeggios, Franz’s own
rage in minuets.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Or is it just a magic spell?

>>>>>
>>One woman’s work clad in scarlet?
>>>>>>>          She raves and twangs to
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    >>>>>>guitar & harmonica,
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>      >sits at the piano with angels and
            splashes sounds around the house as a painter would never dream…
There’s a blackbird inside her heart.
I hear colours sigh in darkness,
as fingers caress her
keyboard.

>>>>>>>
Sing me the songs
>>>>>>from your palette,
>>>>>>>>>>>toute la matière du monde.

>>>>>>>
It takes one Moon to know my mood,

>>>>>>>>
It takes
>>one wrist
>>>>>to splash it round;
>>>>>>>>>>one set of notes
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>to light it up,
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>one set of drums
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>for the musical rendez-vous.

>>>>>>

© Nat Hall 2013

Here are the links to the pieces of music  that inspired the poem Prelude:

Claire De Lune by Debussy, Mazurka in A by Chopin, Liebstraum No.3 in A flat major by Liszt, Among Angels and Rubberband Girl by Kate Bush

>>>>

LilliNat4>>>>>>

Prelude by Lili Morgan, in response to Nat Hall’s poem Prelude

>>>>>>>

The Recovery Project Collaboration: ‘Creatives Making a Difference’

4 Jun

THE RECOVERY PROJECT

More than several months ago I had an idea about creating a mini-collaboration on the theme of the mental health term  ‘Recovery’. This is not only particularly relevant to me because I have bi-polar and am in a state of recovery myself, but also because ‘recovery’ is important for lots of people (including creatives) who are affected my mental health issues. It’s a universally important theme and experience.

With this in mind I asked the poets Carol Robson, John Mansell and Rebecca Audra Smith (all accessed via Twitter)  if they would like to collaborate on this and write a poem for the project, each taking up a particular facet of the path to recovery. Carol took up the theme of DESPAIR, John, MUDDLING THROUGH and Rebecca ‘RECOVERY’. I asked 3 artists who were then paired with the poets: Ray Bentley, Photographer Jeremy Moseley and Hugo Smith (all accessed via Twitter) to produce artwork inspired by the three poems. I also asked audio visual artist Shaun Blezard to write an accompanying soundpiece for the three sections. So this whole project is completely fuelled by new literary pieces, artwork/photography and sounds. The piece can viewed in sections or be taken as a whole. I have also produced a mini-film  which includes audio versions of the poems, and will give you an idea of the piece as a whole and how it could be turned into an installation of sorts (watch this space…).  It is worth mentioning that everyone involved in this project either has direct experience of the issues or an explicit interest.

The Recovery Project is an important bench-mark for ArtiPeeps for it really represents the first contribution to a new mental health initiative we are going to be instigating more explicitly in October: ‘Supporting Mental Health’.  This ongoing  initiative will produce collaborative material which will form an online artistic and  therapeutic resource for people in need. This will be part of other larger shifts in ArtiPeeps’ intent. There will be more news of this and its implications as time unfolds. But it’s all good.

_________________________________

THE RECOVERY PROJECT

“Recovery is being able to live a meaningful and satisfying life, as defined by each person, in the presence or absence of symptoms. It is about having control over and input into your own life. Each individual’s recovery, like his or her experience of the mental health problems or illness, is a unique and deeply personal process.”Scottish Recovery Network 2009

Recovery is not about ‘getting rid of problems’. It is about seeing people beyond their problems – their abilities, possibilities, interests, and dreams and recovering the social roles and relationships that give life value and meaning”Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins, 2002

>>>>

THE RECOVERY SOUNDCSAPE

by Shaun Blezard

Section 1

DESPAIR:

Restraint Chair No.1 (crop)

Restraint Chair No.1 by Ray Bentley

>>>

Another Psychosis

by Carol Robson

 

Here in a place, which I should be
I need to be here and in all places
Yet! an urge to run rages through me
fear of physical contact, my brain now in overload
here, feeling alone in a place full of people.

Like a frightened gazelle
taunted by its hunter
I search for the exit to safety
an egress to my solitary state
my place of safety in my Prozac stained mind.

Neural networks firing their manic impulses
ignoring my vain attempt of rational logic
craving for their mania overload
knowing again, they will fight a long battle
against the Lithium army, that will bring them down.

Highs and lows come and go
trying to live your normal life
my exterior facade is all you see
as it hides a mind and soul in turmoil
just trying to get through to the next hour.

A life in a day to day existence
that craves for whatever is normal
a time bomb mind with a fragile trigger
controlled by whatever the drug of choice is.

Clinging to a life of hopes and dreams
that is out of this drug controlled despair
I will one day rise again like the Phoenix
out of the ashes, of Another Psychosis.

© Carol Robson 2011

 

Section 2:

MUDDLING THROUGH

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photography by Jeremy Moseley

>>___

______________

>>>

Solitary Lights in a Forsaken Landscape

by John Mansell

 

Day opens like a strange flower.
Had it really closed?

Eyes adrift with bitter tears.
I see you viewing me with unease,
…………toothbrush in hand;
Do not call me stranger.
Do not make me mute
……….by filling my mouth with dread.
Lined linear colour,
the implements of survival
…………in their little compartments
…………………….with designated times…..
Consumption of the divine;
a woman purled in momentary
silence forages the impression
that once she knew me.
And then, like a shoot that appeared too soon
……….is gone…..
Each moment a disgrace to pleasure:
………..the floods of worry
…………………..have strewn me along
…………………..various embankments…..
And when certain suns shine,
I know it is a worry
as unnecessary as
…………the solitude I veil myself with…..
Walk with me these grim corridors.
Though I was able yesterday, today I have fears
that arrest me.
I see faces and eyes rimmed with farewells.
I hear names spoken,
and children laughing…..
If I listen intently enough, I am sure
one of those children is me…..
I am sure there were good days once…..

Shift the falling grains
so they rumple not to the
………..gathering years
but the trench of a memory
…………you think may have held yesterday;
as if your yesterday never existed.
The moisture of dreams drowns
the fallen edifice of your time…..
You are, but never was
because you fear
what you were for it would exhibit
………what you
………………..would be…..
you keeper of empty paintings.
Sleep in a place
where time is a flick of a page;
the dying groans of lost hope,
the flippant drapery
………..of a night
that will come despite
…………your efforts, thief of my life
…………despoiler of all I held beautiful…..

Day closes like a strange flower.
Had it really opened?

 Section 3:

RECOVERY

trying for the brighter by Hugo Smith

‘Trying For the Brighter’ by Hugo Smith

>>>>

Recovery

by Rebecca Audra Smith

 

Hunting for the key
that can slot into my ear
unlock who I am, with
its slow turn and click.
 
I can hear it in my head,
doors open to staircases lead
to cellars where weeds chatter
about sunshine, light and seed.
 
Fumbled fingers in the bed
searching for a lighter
to set fire to the sun,
board a chariot, ride far.
 
I could have burnt my home
to ash, to dust- my family
rooting for my bones;
I’m trying for the brighter.
 
Planting keyholes inside tulips,
my hands are full of keys
each day a little lighter,
a stronger step for me.

The Recovery Film:

>>>

  >>>>

Wagner and Nietzsche: A Total Work of Art?

26 Feb

A Gesamtkunstwerk Relationship?

.

The relationship between Wagner and Nietzsche was of a polarised intensity.  Nietzsche went from being one of Wagner’s closest friends and admirers, to being his an ardent critic and fervent enemy. In his work The Birth of Tragedy (1868), Nietzsche regards Wagner as the redeemer of Greek tragedy and a force of good on the future of music. Yet by The Case of Wagner (1888), Wagner is shown to embody a disease, draining the last remaining life from German music and not only personifying, but actively leading the way in the cultural decadence that Nietzsche saw to be consuming contemporary society.

Please follow this link to continue reading!

Recomposed or Refragmented?

7 Dec

Tania HalbanHi, I’m Tania Halban, an ex-music student from Oxford University. Having studied the history of classical music, musical analysis and music philosophy, I’ve started a blog with some classical music musings. I now work in digital media and am a cycling fanatic, but am staying involved in the music world. I play the piano (mainly Schubert!) and have conducted concerts in the Holywell Music Room in Oxford. Please take a look at my blog for further posts: http://thnotesonnotes.wordpress.com

A big thank you to Artipeeps for making me music correspondent!

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Baroque, Minimalist & Stravinskian Sound Worlds in Max Richter’s Recomposed Vivaldi

Max RichterMax Richter – a leading British composer – has just premiered his recomposed version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to exceptional critical acclaim. Richter describes how he sculpted his music from the original material, going back to the music itself rather than working with old recordings (as is the case with most recomposed versions), picking out his favourite parts and ‘turning them up to make new objects’.

Known particularly for a variety of collaborations and his film music for Waltz with Bashir, Richter also co-founded Piano Circus, a contemporary piano ensemble for six pianos that specialises in minimalist and postmodern music, commissioning works from Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt. This grounding in minimalist techniques is central to Richter’s recomposed Vivaldi.  Through an exceptionally diverse range of influences, Richter manages to create a cohesion of different sound worlds, bringing Vivaldi’s Baroque concerto into the electronic, postmodern 21st century, meanwhile touching on a Stravinskian earthly timbre reminiscent of his Sacrificial Dance.

Both Richter’s and Vivaldi’s works are centred upon a process of building up passages from repeating motivic and rhythmic fragments. This construction lies at the heart of both the Baroque and minimalist aesthetic, providing a natural bridge between the two pieces, despite the three centuries between them. Richter’s minimalist techniques are particularly clear in Spring 0 and Spring I with his use of phasing and looping and pedal notes grounding the harmony. This process of layering and slow-building is particularly apt for conjuring the imagery of the birth of Spring.

The dynamic energy of the original Four Seasons is matched and sometimes even exceeded by Richter, and yet he creates a more circular effect than Vivaldi’s teleological drive. Richter plays with the listener’s expectations, dissipating a climax with a sudden hiatus and moment of complete stasis, such as in Summer III where the intense rhythmic patterns are cut off to be replaced by celestial violin harmonics at 3’ 36’’ in the video below. The only remnant of the earlier energy resides in the softly pounding heartbeat underlying the strings.

Beyond the connections to Vivaldi’s original, Richter’s work also exhibits influences from Stravinsky, both in compositional techniques and timbres used. The three elements which Jonathan Cross – a leading Stravinsky expert – believes to be at the centre of Stravinsky’s aesthetic, are also relevant to Richter’s, namely: drobnost – meaning splinteredness or a sum of its parts, whereby everything is constructed in blocks; nepodvizhnost – stasis, with no directed linear motion, constructed by immobile ostinatos that are repeated rather than thematically developed; and hypostatisation – a focus on the moment as an independent event.

Despite the immense difference between Stravinsky’s and Richter’s music, Richter’s recomposed Vivaldi actually combines all three of these compositional devices. The individual movements can be divided into blocks consisting of ostinato repeating motifs, contrasted with moments of complete stasis such as the one in Summer III, and Richter’s prominent use of cyclical repetition creates an intense focus on the moment akin to Stravinsky’s hypostatisation. In doing so, Richter’s work emphasises Stravinsky’s position as father of minimalism and postmodernism, whilst being a leader of modernism.

The earthly timbre at the beginning of Winter I further emphasises the connection between the two composers, creating allusions to the Sacrificial Dance in Stravinsky’s Rite of SpringBoth have a raw timbre from the rough marcato strings, and Richter draws out the dissonances in Vivaldi’s original using more complex harmonies here than in the rest of his work.

Recomposed is teeming with resonances: to Richter’s forebears; to both contemporary classical and pop music; electronic music; dance music; drumming – the list is endless. Andy Gill writing for The Independent, calls Richter’s creation a ‘palimpsest of the original work’. So, how clean has he scraped the original manuscript? As Richter himself said, he has kept the ‘gestures, shapes, textures and dynamics of the Vivaldi’, and despite using only a quarter of the original music, the parts that he does use are employed over and over again. He refragments Vivaldi’s original, extracting individual moments, stripping them bare and relayering them; as Daniel Hope says, putting them through a time machine and bringing it into the 21st century. And in doing so, Richter has taught us something new about the original work, opening up Vivaldi’s compositional process and showing how the same material, and even the same techniques, can be used to create something entirely new, though with an intricate web of connections to the past.

Richter’s work is not simply a footnote to Vivaldi’s, as could so often be the case in a recomposed work, and nor is it even an epilogue. Instead, it bridges the centuries between its originator and contemporary music, mixing genres and techniques, bringing Vivaldi into the 21st century, and Richter back to the 17th; a truly impressive achievement.

%d bloggers like this: