Reich & Korot: Three Tales tours internationally(November 2002)
Reich & Korot: Three Tales tours internationally
Three Tales, the groundbreaking multi-media collaboration by composer Steve Reich and video artist Beryl Korot, has been travelling internationally since its premiere in Vienna in May. More than 30 performances have taken place or are scheduled in Europe, the USA, Australia and the Far East (full details can be found on our website). The work has also been screened on BBC TV, and Nonesuch is soon to release a DVD video version, coupled with a CD of musical highlights. Performances to date have featured Ensemble Modern in Europe, Steve Reich & Musicians in the USA, with Synergy Vocals and conductor Bradley Lubman.
Reich and Korot have built upon their experiences with their earlier collaboration The Cave, taking advantage of the recent advances in digital technology to produce a work more complex in its effect but much simpler to tour. Historical film and video footage, video taped interviews, photographs, text, and specially constructed stills were created on the computer, transferred to video tape and in performance are projected onto one large 32-foot screen. The images and pre-recorded taped sounds are combined with sixteen live musicians and singers, who perform onstage below the screen, producing a synchronised display of multimedia virtuosity.
"Technology is itself the subject of Three Tales; or rather, what Reich and Korot call reflections "on the growth and implications of technology during the 20th century". While Hindenburg had dealt with the Zeppelin airship of that name and its crash in New Jersey in 1937, the subject of Bikini is the atom-bomb tests at Bikini atoll between 1946 and 1954, and that of Dolly the sheep cloned in Scotland in 1997.
"With deliberate irony, Three Tales takes advantage of ever-advancing technology to examine and criticise the way technology is used... Three Tales lasts 65 minutes, each act longer than the last, presenting a dramatically evolving sequence of considerable impetus as well as moment-to-moment impact... And Reich has written some of his finest music of the last 20 years for Three Tales. Now in control of the structure via a typically rigorous ground plan for tonality and tempo, he also contributes tellingly to the evolution of each tale's dramatic shape, providing some fine string music along the way" The Independent
"An aggressively stirring bit of storytelling... vivid in its aesthetic presentation... It is physically eerie and beautiful... you leave rattling, and a little rattled." New York Times
"A huge achievement, visually and musically, which gets more and more engrossing as it goes on... Certainly no one has made such a symbiotic amalgam between the two media as Reich and Korot, or made it seem so naturally effective." The Guardian
> Further information on Work: Three Tales
Photo: The Bikini secton of Three Tales at the Wiener Festwochen © Wonge-Bergmann
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