Date(s) - 05/07/2021
8:00 pm - 9:15 pm
An opportunity to enjoy Matt Belcher‘s new film Bach Rework’d from the comfort of your own home.
This music documentary looks at the enduring power of Bach’s music as experienced by four performer/composers, the role music has played for them in the last year, and features their own musical responses together with the works by Bach that inspired them.
Writing a response to possibly one of the most famous pieces of music in existence, Bach’s G major Prelude from the first of his six cello suites, is understandably daunting. The musical equivalent of a Mona Lisa, Monet lilies or Bayeaux tapestry, these iconic 42 bars have been sawed through by pretty much every post-Casals era cellist (along with many other instrumentalists) and become meta data via adverts, movies and god only knows how many recordings, not to mention countless re-workings by Bach-smitten composers.
Popping up at the end of the first Covid-19 year, this inspired and timely Bach Rework’d project forced me to get the cello out of the case for the first time in 14 months, learning to play again from (literal) scratch. Being the first cello Bach I ever had a go at as a kid, the Prelude felt like the logical piece to pair with a compositional reaction while in this beginner frame of mind. A somewhat raucous rock-up, “G-lude” (no prizes for guessing title derivation) clearly releases some pent up lockdown physicality, celebrating the rough edges with wild scrapes, screeches, thwacks and gasps, while ghosting the harmonic architecture of J.S.’s original.
The delicate string resonance that spins its magic throughout the cello suites is here blown up in sequences of overtone clouds, driven over the edge with amplification and distortion, finally exhausting itself and coming to rest within the deep stillness of the Prelude’s opening chord sequence, outlined in harmonics.
My deepest thanks to Spitalfields Music for this wonderful opportunity to start again.