Thursday 9 August 2012 at 1:00pm
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, K1N 9N4, Canada
Tel: (613) 990-1985
Hosted by composer/conductor Rob Kapilow, this unique and exciting new collaboration between Ottawa Chamberfest and the National Gallery of Canada blends discussion, demonstration, and performance in an exploration of the parallels between two worlds of expression: the world of art and the world of music. Through the pairing of individual pieces of music in live performance with related works of art from the Gallery's collection, the series aims to help us see art differently and hear music differently as we learn to listen for the music of art. Perhaps the most striking aesthetic trend of the second half of the 20th century is its powerful rejection of the complexity that dominated most mid-century art and music, in favour of a new, minimalist simplicity: a belief that "less is more." In music, composers like Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Phillip Glass abandonded the dense, forbidding atonal compositions of Schoenberg and his followers and reclaimed the power of tonality in exciting, fresh Minimalist scores. Meanwhile, artists like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman rejected the intricacies of earlier Abstract Expressionists and painted startlingly new Color Field canvases with areas of unbroken surfaces and flat planes. Pairing a performance of the "chance" music of John Cage with Jackson Pollock's action painting, and a performance of Steve Reich's minimalist music with the paintings of Newman and Rothko, this program explores the different ways that art and music of the 20th century have turned "less into more."