In a world of high quality digital musical reproduction, how do performers connect with their audience? When at the click of a mouse, perfect sounding recordings from around the world can be stopped and started, listened to and re-listened, through speaker systems that reproduce instruments in all their detail, why do we even need performance?
Today’s recorded music surely gives much more scope for contemplation and understanding of a musical work than any live performance ever can.
To investigate the enduring power of the live performance, and to embrace the physical nature of the performer, I have commissioned pieces from composers whose work embraces both the musical and the physical. Jennifer Walshe, Simon Steen-Andersen and Niels Rønsholdt are three of the most exciting composers writing for notes and bodies, bringing notions of performance and physicality back in to the frame of live music making. Their solo-pieces comprise the first part of Solo-Act:
Jennifer Walshe: SELF-CARE (28’)
for accordion, tape recorder and film
Simon Steen-Andersen: Asthma (22’)
for accordion and video
Niels Rønsholdt: Until nothing left (30’)
for accordion solo, performing accordionist, objects and audience
The project was premiered at Borealis, festival for experimental music in Bergen, March 9 2017, and is supported by The Danish Arts Council, The Arts Council (IE), Augustinus Fonden, Danish Musicians’ Union and Danish Composers’ Society’s Production Pool and Koda’s Cultural Funds.