This video documents Natalie Clein playing Sounds from a Room in A Room for London, London, United Kingdom, 24 August 2012.
During 2012, Artangel invited 38 writers, musicians and artists from across the globe to compose, perform or imagine new work in A Room for London: a one-bedroom Heart of Darkness-influenced installation perched on a roof high above the River Thames.
For more information: artangel.org.uk/project/a-room-for-london/
Clein provided the following notes on the choices of music:
1. Lutoslawski: Sacher Variations
I wanted to begin with Lutoslawski, partly as an ode to another great Polish-born artist, Jozef Conrad, and partly because the exploratory nature of this piece - as he weaves in and out of quarter tones on the cello - seemed to sum up the experimental nature of this programme for me.
2. Ligeti: Dialogo, from the Cello Sonata
This sonata was written for a cello student that Ligeti was in love with. The dialogue takes place between the lower and higher registers of the instrument. A Room for London had felt lonely to some of its inhabitants at times and I wanted to play through the idea of solitude and its opposite.
3. Britten: Solo Cello Suite No 3
When I first stepped on to the boat to take a sneak preview of the Room (on a cold January morning), I immediately thought of this opening part of Britten's third cello suite. Perhaps it was the cold, slick, black quality to the river as it was then, or the inexorable flow and pull of the bells at the beginning of the piece, or the haunting loneliness, or the Englishness, but I had to include it. And the ironic nature of what follows also fit well, in my imagination, with the disembodied spirit of Conrad's story.
4. Bach: G Major Prelude
Britten composed an ode to Rostropovich playing this Prelude at this point in the piece, so I had to take the logical step backwards. And spontaneously, it felt right.
5. Ligeti: Cappriccio from the Solo Sonata
The Ligeti was calling me back with less loneliness now.
6. Kurtág: Faltering Words - Hommage to John Cage
Kurtág is fascinated by silence and all that it can embody. This piece seemed to resonate strongly with the spirit of the room and all the creativity that has taken place there, although it's impossible to pin these silences and and faltering words down - they can only live in the moment or not at all.
7. Kurtág: Az Hit
"Kurtz... Heavens! How that man could talk! He had faith - don't you see? - he had the faith. He could get himself to believe anything - anything."
8. Bach: D Minor Prelude
Again I was pulled back to the source, as many describe Bach. And I could see St Paul's as I was playing - quite an inspiring sight... 9) Kurtág: Shadows All that are ever left after an ephemeral performance.