*Reich Richter Pärt,* 5/16/19

May 27, 2019

I saw *Reich Richter Pärt* at The Shed on 5/16/19. It’s a combination of artwork by Gerhard Richter and music by Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich. The show started with the audience milling around a large gallery filled with tall, narrow paintings... 

 

 

 

 

...and a few pieces were reproductions of Richter’s paintings in fabric. 

 

 

 We weren’t aware, but the singers for the Arvo Pärt were standing amongst us. In my performance they were singers from the Choir of Trinity Wall Street.  In this photo the guy in the baseball cap is one of the singers.

 

 

The piece they sang was about four minutes long. They sang it and then were silent for a bit, then sang it again. They performed it four or five times. It was a lovely piece and they performed it well, but nothing was gained by hearing it four or five times, and the folkish harmonies didn’t seem to have any connection or meaningful counterpoint to the paintings.

We moved into the next room, which had a chamber orchestra on one end, Ensemble Signal conducted by Brad Lubman. We were encouraged to sit in the middle of the room facing the blank wall. We had to get our own (backless) portable chairs and set them up ourselves. This was a new experience for me.

 

 

The orchestra played *Reich / Richter* by Steve Reich while we watched a Richter abstract film (a collaboration with filmmaker Corinna Belz) on the opposite wall. This time the music and images were intensely connected. But not in a literal way: a calm, pastel moment in the film would precede or be reflected by a similar mood in the music. Fascinating, striking, unusual images in the film, endlessly engrossing.  I took this picture in secret:

 

 

The music was glorious, though it sounded more like John Adams than Steve Reich to me. But what do I know. 

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