Toccata e Fuga

The Swiss stage director and collaborative artist Julie Beauvais and Claire Chase created a durational version of Salvatore Sciarrino’s transcription of Bach's Toccata e Fuga as part of Beauvais’ EXCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY exhibition in Sion, Switzerland in January 2017.

a short description:

“The artistic encounter between Claire Chase and Julie Beauvais is an invitation to conjoin “the rare combination of grace and guts” of the virtuoso American flutist with the “formal and poetic minimalism” of the Swiss director. Both work in baroque and contemporary repertories and with their many collaborative projects open new possibilities for experimentation in music-performance outside of the concert hall.”

Sciarrino’s transcription of Bach’s Toccata e Fuga improbably transforms an iconic, tour de force work for 10,000 pipes into music for one solo pipe. Beauvais‘ staging interrogates this transformation, elongating it, turning the concert back into a ritual. With lighting designed by Abigail Fowler, highlighting the body and movements of the flutist and her silent partner, Beauvais and Chase perform the nine-minute work continuously over three hours, becoming a kind of human pipe-organ in the process.

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