|Friends get together with instruments|
and play along with a professional orchestra
The Philharmonia iOrchestra installation
(Igor Stravinsky: "The Rite of Spring")
At Torre Abbey Meadows Torquay
Monday 26 May - Saturday 7 June
12-8pm every day
One hundred years after its first, riotous, performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" has been revived to astound new modern audiences here in Exeter. A couple of years ago Marion Wood, despite reservations about the shocking nature of the story, conducted the Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the ballet score at Exeter Cathedral (24 Nov 2011).
This year pianist An-Ting Chang and 'Concert Theatre' are touring Britain with their music/drama collision "Rite of Spring / Romeo & Juliet" - and have included a visit to Exeter Barnfield Theatre (1 May 2014). Meanwhile the Philharmonia Orchestra's audio-visual "Rite of Spring" installation, "iOrchestra Re-Rite" opened in Armada Way, Plymouth (29 April - 10 May 2014).
For anyone who missed that opportunity, the installation has now reopened at Torre Abbey Meadow (Torquay Seafront). The grand opening was on Bank Holiday Monday, 26 May, and the show is open every day from 12 until 8pm up to and including Saturday 7 June. On Saturday 31 May and Saturday 7 June guided tours are provided at 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30pm.
The Philharmonia Orchestra will be here in the flesh on Sunday 8 June at 5pm for a live performance of classical favourites on Torre Abbey Meadow.
Visitors are welcome at all times, with no charge for admission, and it is quite possible to guide oneself around the fascinating exhibit. Through the use of mini video cameras, and high fidelity sound recording, the installations recreates the experience of hearing and seeing the full orchestra playing Stravinsky's masterpiece - in close-up. Visitors can approach the larger-than-life images, eyeball-to-eyeball, and they never blink.
The experience is quite eerie. The images seem so real one feels able to reach out and touch the players, and yet they play on oblivious. The music fills the huge tent, and in every corner different sections of the orchestra can be seen playing. Sheet music is provided, and anyone bringing their own instrument is very welcome to play along. (There is a bass drum provided - which is strictly supervised!)
"The Rite of Spring" is in two movements "L'Adoration de la Terre" and "La Sacrifice" each lasting about 20 minutes. It is possible to enjoy both movements in under an hour, but most visitors stay much longer. Following the musical score, and marvelling at the intricate technique of the players can hold a viewer captivated in just one section for a whole movement - and there are over ten sections to see. Each is as fascinating as the last.
Not only are there detailed close-ups of all the action. Similar cameras are installed in the marquee, projecting images of visitors into the orchestra by closed-circuit television. In the main auditorium, all the musicians are seen playing together, in a montage of videos of the individual sections. Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen also appears but, once again, the audience members can take over, conducting by closed-circuit television.
Children can't resist getting involved in the action, and delight in all the clever interactive tricks dreamt up by the designers. Delight turns to fascination, and eager curiosity is easily satisfied by the accompanying text, videos, and audio commentary. No-one leaving Re-Rite will be at a loss for something to say about Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring".
Many thanks to Lona Kozik, Trustee and Classical Presenter at Soundart Radio (Dartington Hall), and Amelia Mariette, Keeper of Art at Torre Abbey, for information about this extraordinary and excellent exhibition. What a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of iOrchestra's two week sojourn in sunny Torbay and get really intimate with a spectacular piece of classical music.
And every event in the iOrchestra Re-Rite run is ABSOLUTELY FREE TO ATTEND!
|Come to the sunny English Riviera|
|Get out of the traffic line|
|Follow the arrows|
|to an amazing audio-visual installation|
|created by a professional orchestra|
|Visitors can enjoy lunch at the neighbouring|
One World Café
|Or a snack at the on-site sandwich bar|
- but they don't linger long
|Something very interesting is happening inside|
|First (quite rightly) the clarinets!|
E flat: Jennifer McLaren
Bass: Larent Ben Slimane
|Visitors follow the piccolo clarinet part.|
(Just counting the bars rest is a challenge!)
|Concert Master: Zsolt Tihamér Visontay|
|Joined at first desk by Lulu Fuller|
|Second Violins: Julian Milone|
(If you lose your way in the score, bar numbers set you straight)
|Visitors can't resist playing along|
|They can even be projected into the orchestra|
|French horns - in your face!|
|Children have a ball conducting the strings|
|While parents search for their place in the score|
|The band plays on - Pizzi-Cam!|
|"I don't care what Momma don't allow . . . "|
|Video screens and audio commentary explain all:|
This screen explains how Stravinsky deliberately gave
each player slightly more notes than they could manage
|to create the fevered sounds of "La Sacrifice"|
|Children cannot resist trying to keep up|
|Gerard Hoffnung would approve:|
The giant tuba-mutes
|Interactive camera, caught on camera|
|Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen|
projected on a veil
- through which the oboes can be seen
|A truly 3-D experience|
|In the final installation|
Children receive bass-drum coaching
|with Torre Abbey Keeper of Art|
|Meanwhile 100 yards away|
in the Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey
another exhibition co-ordinator, Gahan Oliver,
has been supervising the hanging of artwork for
|The "Flying Colours" Art Exhibition|
The Spanish Barn Torre Abbey
Monday 26 May - Monday 9 June 10am-5pm
(Also ADMISSION FREE)
15% of all sales prices donated to
Devon Air Ambulance Trust
|Not to mention Torre Abbey and Gardens|
|A symphony orchestra by the seaside|
Come and join in . . .
(Details & video on the iOrchestra Website)
Monday 26 May - Saturday 7 June 12-8pm
Saturday Guided Tours: 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm
Live Open Air Philharmonia Orchestra Concert (!!!):
Torre Abbey Meadow: Sunday 8 June 7pm
Audio-Visual experience of a full orchestra.
Walk through a performance of
Igor Stravinsky: "Rite of Spring"
by the Philharmonia Orchesta
School Groups Welcome
Torbay Project Co-ordinator:
Laura Forster: 07943 376893
Re-Rite Website Paul Rissman's Video
Don't forget to take a look at the fabulous
Orchestra Unwrapped Resource Pack