Monday, 10 September 2012

Taking watercolours to a city of continuous rain?

Taking watercolours to a city of continuous rain?

Well, you might argue that the audience of the Bergen Philharmonic has a natural affinity with the beauties of kinetic water. Why else would they live in a city where it rains “all the time”?  Well, appreciation for my performance also poured down on September 6th, when I created flowing watercolours in the opening concert of the new season of the Bergen Philharmonic in the Grieg Hallen. Music Director Andrew Litton has turned this orchestra (one of the oldest) into a world-class orchestra. What a magnificent palette of sound they produced for him! Sound that blended beautifully with my kinetic images for Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
Brushing up-bow, down-bow to Enigma Variation B.G.N,, with the gorgeous cello solo.

This wasn’t an easy set-up for me. The programme included a work by Dorman for percussion duo and orchestra, with intruments spreading all over the stage. Uh-oh! No room for my projectors. So we had to project from back-stage through the screen. Problem was, the image lacked full brilliance and you saw the coloured pin-points of the projector-lights. In every different hall, you are so dependent on the helpfulness of the technical staff  - and they came through in Bergen. 

With his characteristic flair for creative programming, it was artistic director Ronald Vermeulen who brought me to Bergen. Back in 2004 he programmed me to do Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat in the Concertgebouw. That turned out to be quite a milestone in my performance career and it was so good to work together again. 

Back in sunny Amsterdam, I had hardly unpacked when it was time to gear up for the Amsterdam Trouw-Yellow Lounge on 9/11, with Pierre-Laurent Aimard. A concept started in Berlin and spreading world-wide – engaging top-flight classical musicians to attract a younger generation, in a night-club setting. This one takes place in the former printing factory of the Trouw newspaper. More soon.


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