Symphony 80

Ari Benjamin Meyers
June 25, 2017

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80, 2017
Performance, original score, performance protocol and the right to stage the performance in consultation with the artist
Duration 4 hours

 

Exhibition view: Lenbachhaus, Munich, June 25, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Symphony 80

Ari Benjamin Meyers
St├Ądtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
June 25, 2017
Previous
Next

Symphony 80 was composed specifically for the Lenbachhaus. Produced in collaboration with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, it examines the question of how to display the complexity of an orchestra—a sizable ensemble that is typically organized in accordance with a fixed arrangement of instruments and performs as a unit under the direction of a conductor—in an exhibition that allows the audience to observe not just the choric whole but also the specific contributions of its individual members. This display, moreover, is mounted not in the familiar venue of the concert hall or in a spectatorial performance situation but instead in a museum’s galleries.

 

The orchestra turns the entire Lenbachhaus with all its rooms into the scene of an orchestral exhibition-performance. The focus is on the encounter with the individual performers, breaking with the customary definition of the orchestra as a collective and unified harmonic body. Though notated in traditional fashion, the score of Symphony 80 is not executed in full detail, making it more of a generalized instruction to the performers. The contrast between polyphony and unison and the choreography of music and movement in the space are central to the piece. The musicians introduce themselves to the audience in the manner of soloists before scattering across the Lenbachhaus’s floors and galleries and gradually tuning in to their shared music-making. The audience, too, roams freely amid the music and between the musicians, immersing itself in a three-dimensional analytical “image” of the orchestra for an encounter and experience that will be thoroughly unlike a typical concert evening.

 

The artist and composer is interested in the social space that emerges between musicians and listeners when the usual setup in which musicians on a stage and audience face each other is abandoned. The participants on both sides—the listeners experiencing the music no less than the musicians performing it—can shape the dynamic dialogue between them. Over the course of the performance, the musicians come together in different locations to form varying constellations. As the listeners explore the music unfolding in the galleries, they witness a constantly shifting interplay of instruments and voices. The performance runs for four hours; visitors can start following it any point or take a break and come back.

Search