Josh Johnson: Special Effects, Editing, and Screen Visuals.
Seven Words, live video installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ On the Cross
Lavard Skou Larsen, Director
When Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ On the Cross was first performed during the Good Friday service at the Spanish Cádiz Cathedral in 1786, the audience attended a multimedia performance that included special lighting, spoken words, and live music. Hayden's seven main meditative sections—labeled "sonatas"—are framed by an introduction and a dramatic "earthquake" conclusion, for a total of nine movements. Inspired by the original setting, The Met Reframed invited artist Ofri Cnaani to create a live video installation to encircle the performers and generate a theatrical context for the music. Lavard Skou Larsen's Salzburg Chamber Soloists, will give their New York debut with a program featuring their adaptation of the piece to a string orchestra.
Looking at the moment of crucifixion as extreme physicality, ecstasy, and final surrender, Cnaani worked with a vast collection of source material for a more nuanced, metaphorical, universal and non-literal interpretation of Haydn's work to amplify the music. The installation is composed of multiple projections, one which will accompany the performance's full length while others intended to activate the silent intermezzos between each sonata (originally kept for the reading of the seven sentences). The interaction between sound, word and image underscores a dialogue that is both historical and contemporary.