For Manchester After Hours, The Whitworth invites you to take an alternative tour of its collection, brought to life through a score of evocative visuals and ethereal music performed live by Psappha – the North’s only stand-alone, professional contemporary classical music ensemble. Here and Now will feature four brand new pieces inspired by the artworks that they will be performed in front of, as well as a number of other audio-visual highlights.
Among these, Joshua Frankel’s beautiful, award-winning film, Plan of the City (which went viral when it was released on Vimeo in 2011), is not to be missed. The dreamy creation has been compared to Koyaanisqatsi and Sufjan Stevens’s BQE, and consists of a collage of live action footage, animation, illustration and treated photographs – including images taken by the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, made available to the public domain by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Follow the piece as it imagines the architecture of New York City and Shanghai ‘blasting off into outer space’ and resettling on Mars, described by Anne Midgette of the Washington Post as “One of the best matches of visuals to music I have seen.”
Other film pieces to look forward to on the night include 5 Hofer Photographs, based on the work of Evelyn Hofer (dubbed “the most famous unknown photographer in America” by the New York Times critic Hilton Kramer), which sets her strangely timeless images of Dublin street life in the 1960s to a harmonious scattering of notes. And the American contemporary classical music composer Michael Gandolfi’s History of the World in Seven Acts, combined with the deeply-hypnotic, looping visuals of animation artist Jonathan Bachrach.
Altogether, the combination of live music and art experienced in the beautiful surroundings of The Whitworth should make for a very special evening, that may well shape the way you view (or hear) its collection for good.