Sound design and music production company String and Tins inaugurate a new label with their debut release, the first in the new artist series ‘Stills’.
The ‘Stills’ project asked composers to create a piece of music in response to a self-selected work of art exhibited in London’s Tate Britain gallery, presenting each of them with a premise; if each respective artwork represented a still from a scene, what would the score sound like?
The first release from the series, ‘Stills 01’, comprises three works which encompass acoustic instrumentation and textural experimentation, drawing on the sound design heritage of String and Tins.
Responding to the work of three British artists, with paintings which traverse high classicism, haunting surrealism & architectural abstraction, composers Jim Stewart, Simon Whiteside & Joe Wilkinson have produced a rich, inventive and affecting collection of interpretations, unlocking singular new dimensions within these artworks.
The Jim Stewart composition, ‘Dead Sea’, is inspired by a painting of the same name by the artist Paul Nash. Stewart’s recordings have been digitally extended and processed, creating a sustained, unsettling fabric of sound; an expansive backdrop to a simple piano progression and remotely staged horns, reflecting the fallen grandeur of Nash’s painting
Simon Whiteside chose ‘Inversions’ by Mary Martin as the subject of his piece. ‘Inversions’ creates a canvas for a wide range of elements, using an ensemble of ten violins which cycle through clusters of canonically arranged notes. The other sections of the orchestra undulate in volume and rhythm, creating a hypnotic, meditative mood analogous to Martin’s sequential style.
Joe Wilkinson created ‘Annunciation’, inspired by the Arthur Hacker painting. Joe’s composition takes a more linear approach, directly interpreting the events of the painting, with Hacker depicting Archangel Gabriel’s announcement to the Virgin Mary, prophesying Jesus’ incarnation. A choir is combined with noise loops, synths and orchestral verve to create a multi-faceted piece that brings the release to a quiet, contemplative resolution.
‘Stills 01’ is an evocative introduction to a new label, a new series, and new work by renowned composers. An exploration of art, sound and perception guided by profound, personal inspiration.
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