Selected Work

Portraits for a Study

After Gerhard Richter

In February 2014, Arts Council England, the PRS for Music Foundation, Yamaha UK, Falmouth University, The Royal Academy of Music and Goldsmiths University supported and participated in Jim Aitchison’s project to create 2 hours of musical responses to artworks by Gerhard Richter, in versions for distributed piano, and for string quartet.

In part one of the performance event, Pianist Roderick Chadwick played 4 Disklavier pianos simultaneously, linked via broadband, 300 miles apart, at Falmouth University, The Royal Academy Of Music, Goldsmiths University and Yamaha Music London. In part two, the music was performed once again, in a re-filtered version for string quartet, by the Kreutzer Quartet (Peter Sheppard Skærved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, and Neil Heyde). The project was also grateful to receive generous help from Gerhard Richter and his studio, from Sir Nicholas Serota and Tate, and from curator Paul Moorhouse.

Music of Verbs

After Richard Serra

Music of Verbs arose from a project exploring the idea of making a chain of translations between different art forms at minute sites of intersection. From sculptor Richard Serra’s famous Verb List(1967-68), Jim Aitchison translated selected action-words into extremely short fragments of music, then into a filmed physical ‘performance’ in ink on paper configured as seven blank piano keyboards, then translated from musical score to graphic scores. From Serra’s list the artist chose the actions shown below to become embodied in the film and as graphic scores. A concert version of the music was commissioned by Kevos with support from Arts Council England, and performed at Kestle Barton Gallery in 2017, along with the moving image installation and graphic scores seen below.

 

Music of Verbs: graphic scores after musical responses to Richard Serra's Verb List

Mark Rothko

Shadows of Light II

(Music from the Seagram Murals)

At Tate Modern

Below is the studio recording made by Jonathan Haskell (Astounding Sounds) of Shadows of Light II, performed by Nicholas Clapton, Michael Thompson  and the Kreutzer Quartet - Peter Sheppard Skærved, Neil Heyde, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff.

Shadows of Light II (Music from the Seagram Murals) was commissioned by Tate Modern in 2008-09 with support from the PRS for New Music Foundation, and Henry Tillman and Jill Bradford, and revised in 2010. The music was premiered at an event at Tate Modern in front of Rothko’s paintings in the Tate exhibition, performed by Nicholas Clapton (countertenor), Michael Thompson (horn) and the Kreutzer Quartet (Peter Sheppard Skærved, Neil Heyde, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff).

 

Opening - Jim Aitchison, Kreutzer Quartet, Nicholas Clapton and Michael Thompson
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Autumn - Jim Aitchison, Kreutzer Quartet, Nicholas Clapton and Michael Thompson
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Closing - Jim Aitchison, Kreutzer Quartet, Nicholas Clapton and Michael Thompson
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On 18 June 2012 Tate Media published the studio recording (made by Jonathan Haskell (Astounding Sounds)) of Shadows of Light II online on the Tate Channel:

Shadows of Light II (Music from the Seagram Murals)

 © Jim Aitchison 2018