For Ashley

Video: Peter Rudolfi / Performer: Ashley Bathgate / Composer: Andrew Norman

These visual illustrations attempt to complement a contemporary music take on Unaccompanied Cello music. This version is derivative of the iconic J.S. Bach Cello Suites written 300 years earlier with both compositions containing implied three-to-four-voice contrapuntal and polyphonic music in a single line. Uniquely, composer Norman adds ingenious changing metric structural patterns posing an added challenge to the performer. The effect is a rich rhythmic mosaic indicative of the Baroque aesthetic.

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For Ashley

These days I seem to be mostly listening to cello music. I was recently introduced to this wonderful video performance by Ashley Bathgate of a piece written for her by Andrew Norman, inspired by J S Bach’s Prelude from the Fourth Cello Suite. It’s energetic, bouncy, playfully repetitive and fantastic.

Ashley Bathgate

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Drombeg Stone Circle

I’m away for a few days so I’m leaving Ernst Reijseger in charge. He knows what to do.

Ernst Reijseger performs an improvised piece at the 4000 year old ‘Drombeg’ Stone Circle, situated in the very beautiful surroundings of West Cork in Ireland.

Born in Naarden (NL) in 1954, Reijseger started playing cello at the age of seven. At the Conservatory of Amsterdam his teacher Anner Bijlsma encouraged him to follow his own path in order to develop his musical vocabulary. This resulted in a life time of out-of-the-box and genre-bending collaborations and that enabled Reijseger to grow into a unique musical force.

Myles O’Reilly

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Sight

SIGHT an unprecedented site-specific exhibition by British artist Antony Gormley. It marks the first time that a contemporary art exhibition is held on Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, since the sacred island was first inhabited more than five thousand years ago.

Gormley repopulates the island of Delos with iron ’bodyforms’, restoring a human presence and creating a journey of potential encounters. He has installed 29 sculptures made during the last twenty years, including 5 new works specially commissioned by NEON, both at the periphery and integrated amongst Delos’s archaeological sites. Curated by Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery and Elina Kountouri, Director, NEON.

SIGHT is organized and commissioned by NEON and presented in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades. 2 May – 31 October 2019

Sight | Antony Gormley on the island of Delos

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I Have A Small Heart

わたしのチイサナココロ [i have a small heart] is a short documentary accompanying one woman’s journey along the Kumano Kodo through the Kii mountains of Japan. This ancient pilgrimage route, one of only two Unesco World Heritage pilgrimage sites in the world, is considered the spiritual heart of Japan.

Megumi, a thirty-something woman living alone in Mie Prefecture, has always felt a calling to walk the major pilgrimages of the world. We travel with her as she walks the Kumano Kodo seeking solace and connection to the generations of pilgrims around the world.

At the culmination of filming, we were granted extraordinary access to observe a rare ceremony with the Buddhist monks & Shinto priests of the region.

The monks had walked through the mountains for days to pray with the priests. Together, they honored the deeper connections to the land and shared history that transcend any particular religion or practice.

Alongside one small local news team, we were the only camera crew allowed access to document this ceremony.

A labor of love, this film began with these questions:

– Across time and all cultures, humans have established and maintained pilgrimages. What is it that draws us to these difficult journeys?
– How can we reconcile feelings of faith and doubt in religion?
– What role can pilgrimage play in our modern lives?

We hope this film can help be part of the search for the deeper connections that unite us across our different cultures, beliefs, and religions.

Bajir Cannon, Maki Itami Cannon, Megumi Ueno

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Living Symphonies

We came down the hill and over Chingford Plain and joined others arriving from north and south in a steady stream flowing into the woods. I thought of Geoffrey Chaucer – Those that sleep all the night with open eyes… Then folk long to go on pilgrimages… We really should’ve known about this, but it crept up and took us by surprise. We’d been here just a few weeks before, but walking in the opposite direction. Today, 28th July, we got to see it just in time, on its last day in Epping Forest. Continue reading “Living Symphonies”

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Never Failed Me Yet

A 12-hour continuous performance of Gavin Bryars’ iconic piece Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet at London’s Tate Modern. Produced by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the event brought together musicians from the Academy, Southbank Sinfonia and the Gavin Bryars Ensemble who performed throughout the night alongside people with experience of homelessness.

The performance was preceded by more than 50 hours of music making workshops at two day centres for homeless people in London.

‘None of us were homeless last night. Instead we were welcomed and royally entertained as special guests of one of the city’s most glamorous and sophisticated palaces of art!’ Gerry Salmon, participant from The Connection at St Martin’s.

‘Last hour spellbinding, moving, uplifting.’ @domcavendish (Theatre Critic, The Telegraph)

It was outstanding and, in its own way, astounding. And quite, quite beautiful’ The Afterword

Tate Modern / Academy of St Martin in the Fields

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Which Way Up

For John McLean, 1939-2019.

Sadly I’m not allowed to post this video on our blog, but please watch it here.

John McLean is a Scottish abstract painter with work in some of the world’s great public art collections. In 2013 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This feature-length documentary charts McLean’s struggle to carry on working as the disease takes hold. He proves to be an engaging, humorous and always fascinating companion as he allows us access to the most private of spaces; the artist’s studio. Parkinson’s gradually locks him into disability but he heroically and resolutely refuses to give up on his paintings.

“If you walk down the street with him he’ll notice some small architectural detail really high up quite obscure, and a little detail on a chocolate biscuit, the concaveness of the centre of it, which seems quite minor at the time, but it just shows this exploration into things visual and shapes, it’s all comical quite often and witty but then also deeply like kind of comes from being intrigued by life.”

Jack Fawdrey, studio assistant

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Rivers & Tides

I was just told about this film. I’d not seen it before. Why had I never heard about it? It is wonderful. It was made in 2000 but it still feels fresh and full of magic.

Landscape sculptor Andy Goldsworthy is renowned throughout the world for his work in ice, stone, leaves, wood. His own remarkable still photographs are Goldsworthy’s way of talking about his often ephemeral works, of fixing them in time… Now with this deeply moving film, shot in four countries and across four seasons, and the first major film he has allowed to be made, the elusive element of time adheres to his sculpture.

Director Thomas Riedelsheimer worked with Andy Goldsworthy for over a year to shoot this film. What Riedelsheimer found was a profound sense of breathless discovery and uncertainty in Goldsworthy’s work, in contrast to the stability of conventional sculpture. There is risk in everything that Goldsworthy does. He takes his fragile work – and it can be as fragile in stone as in ice or twigs – right to the edge of its collapse, a very beautiful balance and a very dramatic edge within the film. The film captures the essential unpredictability of working with rivers and with tides, feels into a sense of liquidity in stone, travels with Goldsworthy underneath the skin of the earth and reveals colour and energy flowing through all things.

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One Day In Calvi

We were staying at the top of the hill, behind the beach and the hotels, looking east over the bay to the mountains beyond. North of us was the Citadel but it only came into view as we descended the zigzag path back down into town. It seemed like a good place to begin exploring. Continue reading “One Day In Calvi”

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