ORA Singers: the sound of Tate Modern
Artworks inspire the new generation of composers to write pieces for the human voice
|Music-lovers and art-lovers alike will enjoy a new venture that pairs favourite artworks at Tate Modern with new music inspired by them.|
Works by Matisse, Lorna Simpson and the American minimalist Agnes Martin are on a list of eight works from which the composers have been asked to choose as their starting point. They will each write a vocal work for the award-winning, London-based ORA Singers.
ORA Singers launches its £12,000 Emergency Composers’ Fund to provide work for composers who have been disastrously affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Each of eight chosen composers will each receive a £1,500.
The composers can choose from Agnes Martin's MorningMorning (1965), Helen Frankenthaler's Vessel (1961), Ibrahim El Salahi's Reborn: Sounds of Childhood Dreams (1961-65), Henri Matisse's,The Snail (1953) and Lorna Simpson's Then & Now (2016), among others.
Reborn: Sounds of Childhood Dreams by Ibrahim El Salahi will be 'heard' through a new composer's music. Photo: Tate
Artistic director or ORA singers, Suzi Digby explains: 'Coronavirus has had a catastrophic effect on the lives of composers, as it has for all freelance artists and musicians, clearing their diaries of work and any chance of an income for the foreseeable future.
'We put commissioning at the heart of our work at ORA Singers, and our commitment to composers is more fervent now than ever before. Without their work and creativity brought to life at this time there is a danger that this extraordinary period of human history will be artistically mute.'
For its part, Tate Modern's interest in music goes back to its opening in 2000, with performances including the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and a rare appearance by Kraftwerk.
Committed to commissioning 100 works by 100 living composers in 10 years, since its launch four years ago, ORA has commissioned 45 new pieces, and launched a competition that funds mentoring of promising state-school students and a scheme to record the work of rising composers.
Works commissioned under the Emergency Composers' Fund will be sung by ORA at a later date. Watch Culture Whisper for details.