Skip to main content

Ross Birrell and David Harding - Triptych

Trinity Apse, Edinburgh until August 26th
Five stars

Absence and loss are everything in this ongoing collaboration between Ross Birrell and David Harding, which forms part of Edinburgh Art Festival’s 2018 Commissions Programme. It’s there in the epic sweep of Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (1976), a filmed performance of which forms the show’s heart. Shown across three screens, the film, Lento, features a collaboration between the Athens State Orchestra and the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra. With the orchestras filmed from the back of the central screen, Syrian soprano Rasha Rizk eventually comes into view on the two either side to sing a haunting fifteenth-century lament on loss through war.

The resonances of enforced migration are lent even more intensity by the washes of blue and red that cover the windows of Trinity Apse. The different shades are derived from another music rooted in the words of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, and lend the film and performance fire as they reflect the slow-burning sombreness of the music. The piece was originally conceived for documenta 14, which moved between Athens and Kassel, along with a new piece, Fugue, developed in collaboration with Syrian composer and violinist Ali Moraly. Transposed to such a dramatic context as it travels the globe, its over-riding sense of a world in endless exile makes for an essential experience.

The List, August 2018


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…