Preview: Tim Whitehead at Tate Britain/ JMW Turner

Tim Whitehead Quartet. Friday November 6th, Tate Britain , 7.30pm and 9pm, FREE

On the first Friday of each month at Tate Britain on Millbank there is an evening event called Late at Tate. It’s free. You get to look around the galleries, the cafes are open, you can get into the paid-for exhibitions for half price. Basically there is loads going on. Not just in the galleries, but also in various other parts of the building.

I wrote up the one in August HERE . I was lucky to hear a lecture which Tim Whitehead gave in the tiny Prints and Drawings Room at the October one.

Whitehead’s Leverhulme fellowship, which has now run for nearly a year, has had him working closely with Turner specialists, and exploring the links between Turner’s artistic methods and musical improvisation. Whitehead talked with such exuberant enthusiasm about the inspiration which Turner’s Colour Beginnings had given him, it was quite infectious, the visuals, and the sounds of that evening stick vividly in the mind. I could sense Whitehead reacting in particular to Turner’s complete mastery of light and the way it falls on objects, the life it gives to compositions.

With a watercolour, or with a jazz solo, there is simply no turning back, whether it’s from the first touch of brush on paper, or from the first agitation of the air with sound. From then on, the artist or the musician is, as Whitehead describes it, “surfing the moment.” They have taken on an obligation to the viewer/listener to both shape the materials AND tell a story. And to finish what they’vestarted.

Quick musical/theoretical diversion…. he talked about two musical responses. The first was to imagine the colour clash as two keys a tritone apart- E and B, and to work through the opposition. Another response, this time to upward-swirling clouds was to play a pattern,and then to repeat it a major third higher, and then another major third. Onwards, upwards…..

Anyway…. I’m recommending the November one, on Friday November 6th, which will witness the premiere of Whitehead’s new piece Colour Beginnings.

There will also be various things going on the same evening involving the Turner Prize nominees: not really my bag. I’m focussing on Tim Whitehead’s Turner project, not least because because the pictures flick my switch every time…..

Tim Whitehead’s performances, which in effect wrap up a very successful project- the Tate people told me how well it has worked- are at 7.30 pm and 9pm. The other players in Whitehead’s quartet are top-notch, and all regulars: Liam Noble on piano, Milo Fell on drums and powerful bassist Oli Hayhurst.

My understanding is that the concerts will not be ticketed but that the rooms have a maximum capacity which can’t be exceeded.

So words to remember on the night might be, for example….. “get” , “there” and “early.”

Here are the details on the Tate’s website

Categories: miscellaneous

1 reply »

Leave a Reply