Shostakovich Inspired!

3.30pm Theatr Brycheiniog | Brecon Theatre


Shostakovich String Quartet No 10 Opus 118 in A flat major

Shostakovich String Quartet No 11 Opus 122 in F minor


The Fitzwilliam String Quartet with music painter Maryleen Schiltkamp, and Peter Florence

In this exciting Music, Words and Live Art event, Maryleen will paint on canvas, live on stage in response to the Fitzwilliam String Quartet’s performance of Shostakovich’s 10th String Quartet. The quartet will also play Shostakovich’s 11th String Quartet and there will be readings from the composer’s diaries and memoirs by Peter Florence. The performance will be followed by a Q&A session and the opportunity to discuss Music Painting with Maryleen and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet’s relationship with Shostakovich.

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A unique art form

Music painting is an exciting new performance art, combining live music with artistic creations on canvas.  The live painting on stage will follow and literally illustrate the musical movement and shapes heard and the colour of sound producing a unique experience.

As part of the artist’s preparation, the musical score is studied in detail, and a ‘timeline’ of the music is created. From this timeline a visual score is created allowing the artist to rehearse simultaneously with the music, and to decide finally when to paint what – and where – on the final canvas, one might say ‘a choreography for the movements of the brush’.

Significant moments in the dynamics of the music are highlighted: contrasts and syncopations, the work’s main themes and inversions, the depth of the character and the overall nature of the piece.

For the live performance, these various preparations and studies are of course helpful but do not set the final work in stone. All that happens during performance itself is part of a moment, an instant. and as much as the artist aims to carry out her plan and to anticipate the gestures and movement, the final work always results from an experience based on musical and physical interactions, in what is an open form of art with improvisational elements.

“After listening to the music I start to make sketches to translate the music into charts or visual symbols; first by pencil lines, almost like a seismograph, and from there on to color studies, until I worked through the whole piece, exactly in the time intervals we agreed on. The scale of these charts is sketchbook size (20 x 30 cm or somewhat larger). Then continuing to make larger scale sketches, listening and internalising the music in an intuitive, motoric way and training myself to be simultaneous with the music-time.all the separate sketches then are taped together to ‘read’ them from beginning to end.”