sat 10/12/2016

Minimalism

Bricks!, BBC Four

The wilder shores of contemporary visual art are now ephemeral or time-based: performance, installation, general carry-on and hubbub. But once upon a time – say, the 1960s – it was the nature of objects, pared down to essentials, and often made from...

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CD: Jóhann Jóhannsson - Orphée

Despite culminating with “Orphic Hymn”, a musical setting of Ovid’s text, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Orphée is not a literal interpretation of the Orpheus myth. Instead, the album uses retellings of the story – quoting the press release – to inspire “a...

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CD: Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy

Ben Chatwin's music speaks loudly of solitude. He lives and records on the coast of the Firth of Forth, just outside Edinburgh – not exactly the most isolated of spots, but it's not hard to hear in his waves of texture and simple repeated motifs the...

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CD: Mark Barrott - Sketches from an Island 2

The EU referendum isn’t the only thing causing polarised opinion over European issues. The question of what constitutes Balearic Beat looms large over the music community. For some, it’s a fixed point, namely celebrated DJ Alfredo’s record box in...

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Rysanov, Neary, BBC NOW, Outwater, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff

Apart from festivals like the BBC Proms that do everything, the best festivals have always been the ones that cut a distinctive profile. They might not offer the best music. Those old French festivals of modern music – Royan, La Rochelle, Metz –...

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Mona Hatoum, Tate Modern

Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut of Palestinian parents. She came to London to study at the Slade School in 1975 and got stuck here when civil war broke out in Lebanon, preventing her from returning home. In effect, she has been living in exile ever...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Hauschka

Turn the clock back to early 2007. It’s not so long ago, but at this point Nils Frahm had issued just one album, Ólafur Arnalds was about to release his first, Jóhann Jóhannsson was one year into what would be two-album relationship with 4AD, and...

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Another Minimalism, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh

Minimalist sculpture has, for decades, been making gallery visitors self-conscious. How should you react to a metallic piece by Donald Judd which has evidently been machined rather than modelled? Can you really walk all over an arrangement of lead...

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10 Questions for Composer Ludovico Einaudi

Last month, Ludovico Einaudi's album Elements debuted at No 12 on the UK album charts, which made it the highest-charting modern classical album since Henryk Górecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs reached No 6 in 1992. It was proof of the quietly...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Laraaji

 Laraaji: Ambient 3 – Day of Radiance“If you are OK with this as being an ‘ambient’ record, then I am OK with it too,” says Laraaji in the booklet accompanying this new reissue of his first album, 1980's Day of Radiance. He goes on to explain...

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Ai Weiwei, Royal Academy

Ai Weiwei’s first major survey in the UK is a better looking exhibition than I had anticipated, but what it gains in looks it sadly lacks in substance – backstory and information not being quite the same. It’s visually satisfying, since Ai initially...

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10 Questions for Composer Max Richter

Composer, pianist, producer… Max Richter (b. 1966) is nothing if not prolific, not to mention unique. His traditional training, which included Edinburgh University, the Royal Academy as well as Florence, under composer Luciano Berio sits...

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