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Notating Beauty That Moves: Exhibition Highlights


Notating Beauty That Moves, which takes place at the new ArtisTree from 3 to 29 March, explores the relationship between movement and music. To highlight this wide-ranging concept, co-curators Samson Young and Yang Yeung have put together an exhibition that goes beyond the purely musical, with works ranging from musical scores to films, artworks and performances. Here are some of their highlights from their multisensory show, and insights into how these categories of works contribute to the conversation on music and movement.

The Graphical Score: Treatise by Cornelius Cardew
Musical scores are central to Notating Beauty That Moves. In the exhibition, there are 36 from throughout music history, showcasing the evolution of the form and the ideologies that are comprised within the world of musical notation. For Young, the most beautiful scores are those that can both convey musical meaning and visually embody the way people experience music. This graphical score is, for him, the pinnacle of this balance. Treatise inspires and evokes the imagination of the performer, serving as an example of, as Young describes, the “perfect balance between the appropriation of pre-existing symbols, and the invention of a highly personal system of semiology. It breaks free, but is not impenetrable”.

The Video: Drift  by Hiromi Miyakita
What better way to illustrate the motion in music than in motion-picture format? In Drift, Miyakita is dancer and choreographer, and she both creates parameters for her dance while also responding to unexpected elements of her surroundings. For Yeung, Drift was one of the first things that came to mind when contemplating “notation in music”, and a video clip from a 2015 performance of the work is featured in the exhibition.

“This exhibition goes beyond the purely musical”
The Performance: Song and Dance I & II
Notating Beauty That Moves features dozens of scores, many of which are brought to life through a series of concerts. These two weekend concerts feature Hong Kong Sinfonietta Artist Associate and multi-award-winning pianist Colleen Lee, performing Pierre Boulez’s Sonata No. 3 for Piano , Felix Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words , and John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes . Having performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Hong Kong’s own City Hall, Lee brings her virtuosity to the intimate setting at the new ArtisTree. Song and Dance takes place on 28-29 March

The Artwork: Live Transmissions: Movements of the hands of PIERRE BOULEZ while conducting the LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in STRAVINSKY "PETROUCHKA" by Morgan O’Hara
What movement does music inspire? Dance is the obvious example, but in Live Transmissions , performance artist Morgan O’Hara offers another suggestion. Live Transmissions is a drawing made while O’Hara was watching the French conductor, Pierre Boulez, conducting, and giving physical shape to both the movement and music of the maestro. “In transposing one structure of motion into another,” asks Yeung, “is she not also notating, which is less authoring, but more offering, in a gesture of humbling and freeing?”

The Photograph: Tai Kok Tsui Redevelopment  by Alfred Ko
They say a picture is worth a thousand words; for Yeung, a still image can be representative of a thousand motions. In this photograph, Alfred Ko captures an aerial image of the Hong Kong port district of Tai Kok Tsui, and the inherent noise and motion in this silent still. Says Yeung: “His gaze […] produces intersecting worlds of change and order.”

Notating Beauty that Moves: Music at an Exhibition
3-29 March 2018

See the programme page for more details.
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