Bach and Modern Design
Have you ever seen the Disney movie Fantasia? Actually I wouldn’t even call it a movie, but rather a musical animation experience. If you haven’t I’ll let you in on a little secret of my childhood: it was awesome. It’s all of the staples of the classical music cannon set to trippy animation experiences. If one of those were to come to life I would imagine it would look something like what happened this summer in Manchester, England when Zaha Hadid Architects created a brand new chamber music hall inside the Manchester Art Gallery for a limited performance of the solo works of Johann Sebastian Bach by a gaggle of internationally acclaimed musicians.
Of the endeavor, the Manchester International Festival stated, “Across a series of nine concerts, three internationally acclaimed musicians will perform Bach’s solo instrumental works in this unique, intimate space. The aim: to create a near-perfect environment for the audience to experience some of the world’s most beautiful chamber music. A union of two true originals, three centuries apart.”
But to me it just looks like a very cool fantasy come to life- an installation not unlike a Disney film. Bach makes you feel like you are floating on a very intense cloud and thanks to some very innovative designers you don’t have to close your eyes and use your imagination to get there. Just read the designer’s description and tell me it doesn’t sound like something you’d want to check out:
A voluminous ribbon swirls within the room, carving out a spatial and visual response to the intricate relationships of Bach’s harmonies. As the ribbon careens above the performer, cascades into the ground and wraps around the audience, the original room as a box is sculpted into fluid spaces swelling, merging, and slipping through one another.
Walt would be proud.