Friday, February 3, 2012

Immersive theater is everywhere right now - even classical music concerts are added to the law. Andrew Dickson survey

It's late at night, and in a room inside the Chetham School of Music, the young Russian pianist Alina Ibragimova is moderating in the slow movement of Bartok's Sonata for Violin Solo. As coaxing tender, anguished sighs of his instrument, the screen vibrates with black and white. Some are easy to interpret - the body of a girl lying in a coffin, draped in flowers, dried pencil on a sheet of manuscript paper - but the narrative is enigmatic. The effect is dreamlike, disconnected. It is difficult to decide whether it accompanies, or a movie that followed.

Nothing on this event - a collaboration between renegade Ibragimova and visual artists and filmmakers the Brothers Quay - is the stereotype of a classical music concert. It starts with us being crammed into a small anteroom, suddenly Ibragimova fate and, without pause, he launches into an account of Berio's Sequenza VIII fierce leading Italian composer. Then disappears, to reappear in another room playing the Chaconne from Bach's Partita in D minor, by dimming the lights almost black, then - for reasons I can not imagine - flashing

Even the most mundane aspects of artistic expression, the interval becomes a journey of type: violin Ibragimova as echoes around the empty school, we are encouraged to walk in the yard and take a look at the library of the 17th century beautifully macabre. The effect is partial, given as part of the immersion theater -. Although, at times, hanging around as a courtesy, felt curiously like something organized by the National Trust

dock Brothers are reluctant to say much about his intentions when it comes to the game ("It's something like that," festival director Alex Poots said), in- Beyond the fact that it is a meditation on death from leukemia of Bartók. but the goal seems to be transforming Chetham in a cabin of the installation, which encourages us to get into the music rather than simply observe from a safe distance

it still works, though? Many of us amateurs, no doubt, of culture for their ability to get us out of ourselves, to provide a space in which changes us, not vice versa. Sometimes you just want to get lost in the anonymity of a public, whether in a football game or a play by Chekhov.

Sometimes, too, to see why traditional sit-down concerts are not so bad idea. In May, I went to an event organized by the London Contemporary Orchestra in abandoned railway tunnels under Waterloo station. Work of Xenakis and Morton Feldman were played in different corners, with the public encouraged them to drift. It was a relief to be out of a formal concert hall, hung with those tacit rules, the time to sit, cough or clap, you can choose to speak or not to stay and listen, or just go ahead and take a glass. But this freedom has a price: the large number of people who move meant it was almost impossible to hear what most of us were probably there for: the music itself

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