mobius @ The Lowry

mobius were in residence for a day at The Lowry, Salford, playing in various parts of the Gallery, running a 'shapes and sounds' workshop and performing in the evening.


Music & Art

On June 18th mobius performed at the newly opened Lowry site at Salford Quays, Manchester. We ran an open workshop session exploring some of the relationships between art and music. This theme was carried forward into the public performances that evening - starting with a 'Gallery Prelude'. Solos performed beside and in response to the temporary exhibition 'The Double'.


For further information please visit the Lowry website:
Booking and Information tel. line: 0161 876 2000


Gallery notes:

Music and visual art have a long history of mutual inspiration and influence. In mobius rehearsals we often find ourselves talking about colour, shape, line and texture. This exhibition, 'The Double', explores different versions of self - perception and awareness. Such explorations are familiar territory for musicians too - our daily challenges consist in exploring who we are and how we relate to our instrument, each other and our audience. Whose voice is it you hear - that of the composer, or mine, or a resonance within you, the listener? In this prelude we will be exploring some of these relationships; responding to the art beside us, the space around us, and to you.

Alison Nicholls - harp

Claude Debussy: Preludes - La fille aux cheveux de lin, Bruyeres

I thought the contrast between a modern piece of art and a timeless classic like 'La fille aux cheveux de lin' might be interesting. These Preludes have a strong introverted sense of self and of space. They were written for private playing, a dialogue in which the player intimately explores the instrument so the audience here takes on the role of 'voyeur'. I feel that frisson quite strongly on stage when I play these.

Lorna McGhee - flute

Astor Piazolla: Tango Etudes, Nos. 3 &4

"For her video work 'Claude' , which references Claude Lorrain's celebration of the mirror as a contemplative frame, Seers patched in a positive mirror image of the negative contemplator."

In looking at Lindsay Seers' "Claude" , I am reminded of the fact that we all have a "public" face, Jung called it the "persona", which acts as a buffer between our inner life and the outside world. Oscar Wilde dramatically depicts this concept in "The Picture of Dorian Gray", in which the increasing ugliness of the young man's personality , although never shown in his own physiognomy is mysteriosly revealed in the changing features of his portrait. If "Art " is a mirror to life , then it must show both aspects. I have tried to reflect this in my choice of music. "Tango no 3" is boisterous, lively, outward in its expression, but containing a melancholy, slower section within. On a broader scale, "Tango no. 4 is a sad and meditative, contrasting with the generally positive character of no.3.

Rob Plane - clarinet

The set of three pieces for solo clarinet by Stravinsky and Lennox Berkeley (1919 and 1939 respectively) form an intriguing musical double when performed together. However, the similarities that exist is structure, language and texture are filtered through the contrasting personalities, nationalities, and time zones of the two composers and produce curiously different musical experiences. Lennox Berkeley was clearly influenced by Stravinsky's clever work. In fact Berkeley's pieces almost feel like a transformation of those of Stravinsky, much like like Thomas Ruff's photographic manipulation.


 Here are some pictures taken during the event.

And our tribute to the Artist himself ...   

In addtion a 'funsheet' has been produced for younger gallery visitors to complete as they tour the gallery. To download a PDF* version of the 'funsheet' for you to print please click here.
Please note you must have the Adobe PDF plugin to view this document.

For the answers to the 'funsheet' questions please click here.


© 2003 Alison Nicholls - All rights reserved