Yesterday I was treated to a day out for my birthday and went to The National Gallery to see Soundscapes a new exhibition which is part of The National Gallery Inspires programme.
The idea of the exhibition is that seven sound artists two of which work together each picked a picture from the gallery’s collections and created a score to match the picture. The bio describes the experience as “Immersive and site-specific, the experience encourages visitors to ‘hear’ the paintings and ‘see’ the sound.”. For members it is free and for non members it is £9 but worth it.
Each room is different the first being Lake Kietele by Akseli Gallen – Kallela , then The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger . Both of these rooms were fascinating as Lake Kietele was full of woodland sounds when The Ambassadors was constructed of three violin string being played individually while on a loop. We then moved on to Saint Jerome in his study by Antonello da Messina which had been recreated as a diorama so as you look through the diorama you can see the high arches of the building and the landscape in the background, the sounds were noises of people walking on gravel, animals howling at night and choral singing .
Next up was The Wilton Diptych by English or French (?) this was a fascinating piece of music as the composer had created the score so that it would not repeat its self no matter how long you stayed in the room, I must have stayed in the room for 20 minutes and not once did I hear the music repeat itself. In the next room was Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses) by Paul Cezanne this room felt like you were there with the women, the music was calming and tranquil which worked so well with the picture. Lastly was Coastal Scene by Theo van Rysselberghe the idea of the image is that it is made up of dots of varying blues, purples and greens. The music was fabulous and I could have spent all day in there the composer did a wonderful job that took my breath away.
If you are in London I would recommend seeing this before it finishes in September.
Bye for now