I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relevance of old music, Baroque music in particular. If it’s music that’s truly relevant in modern life, then what it expresses will resonate with other forms of artistic expression from today’s world. So I’ve begun exploring the combining of Baroque music with non-Baroque imagery, and here’s the first offering. My partner Colin Savage is a photographer and musician, and for many years now he’s been taking shots of abandoned, demolition-slated, decommissioned and otherwise ‘doomed’ buildings, using a Twin Lens Reflex camera (i.e., using a historical instrument to take photographs of old places…) as well as shooting in digital format. He put together a slideshow to a couple of tracks from a CD of mine. See how it strikes you. There’s more info on the music and the photos below.
Music: James Paisible (c.1656-1721), Grave/Adagio & Presto from Sonata VI for alto recorder & b.c. Yours truly, alto recorder; Lucas Harris, archlute; Joëlle Morton, bass viol. From the CD The Business of Angels (Pipistrelle Music, PIP 1110, 2010).
Photographs by Colin Savage. Locations: Muskoka Sanitorium (Gravenhurst, ON); General Electric Davenport Works, CNR Locomotive Shop, Don Valley Brickworks, National Rubber Industries (all in Toronto, ON); Bowmanville High School and Camp 30 (Bowmanville, ON); Houghton Industries, Lever Bros., Tower Automotive, New York Pork, and Kodak Canada (all in Toronto, ON).
A very interesting project! Congratulations! Baroque music was about moving listeners and today we certainly need new contexts to relate Baroque music to and create same or similar affects in today’s audience. I think this video is a perfect example of modernising the idea of vanity, the big topic of the Baroque. The composer is most interesting. I’d be happy to see you presenting this composer in my Handel discussion group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1609467332671392/
Thanks for your feedback, which is quite intriguing – I hadn’t consciously thought of the ‘vanitas’ concept but, yes, it makes good sense!
🙂 In any case, derelict places have a fascination on their own. The clash of the decaying new buildings (new from the 18th century perspective) and the old, but fresh and lively sound of the recorder grabs your imagination. I shared the link on your website on Handel and Friends, if you don’t mind.
By all means, and thanks for sharing the link. I will check out the page!
Have just published an essay that may interest you: https://baroque35.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/the-deconstruction-of-a-myth/