Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Piano Illuminato + Qatsi Trilogy

1. Piano Illuminato

Last week I went to see and hear "Piano Illuminato", an audio-visual 
concert featuring Adelaide-based pianist and composer, Rich Batsford:
"... a unique fusion of live music and dynamic, visual art exploring 
themes of peace, love, truth and beauty with take the stage on Thursday 
25 February. In collaboration with Zero, one of Illuminart's animators & 
visual artists 'Piano Illuminato' is a one off audio/visual experience 
featuring performances of original music along with selections of the 
wonderfully melodic music of perhaps the world's most famous pianist 
composer, Ludovico Einaudi."

The obvious attraction for me was the opportunity to listen to Einaudi's 
music, albeit performed by someone else. As it turned out, only three of 
the fifteen pieces played were Einaudi compositions, with the rest being 
original instrumental pieces written by the performer. Fortunately, I 
enjoyed those minimalist and jazz pieces as well. After the show I 
bought a copy of one of Batsford's CDs, "Valentine Court".

The other drawcard was the visual component. Images were projected 
behind the pianist onto the back wall of the room, pre-programmed by a 
member of Illuminart. This is the team responsible for lighting up the 
faces of various buildings on North Terrace during the Adelaide Fringe:

The imagery and lighting complemented the music quite well. This 
included kaleidoscopic elements, oversaturated photography, plus other 
pictures and effects in keeping with the themes and mood of the music.

2. Qatsi Trilogy

The combination of images with the minimalist style of the music in 
"Piano Illuminato" reminded me at times of the experimental documentary 
films of Godfrey Reggio, in particular, the "Qatsi" trilogy, which all 
featured soundtracks composed by Philip Glass.

Here's a selection of iconic clips from those documentaries:
* Koyaanisqatsi: The Grid (Part 3)
* Koyaanisqatsi: Finale
* Powaqqatsi: Video Dream
* Naqoyqatsi: Opening
* Naqoyqatsi: New World