When the Dallas Symphony Orchestra revealed the program for their first ever SOLUNA: International Music & Arts Festival last week, it was with a performance created by Brooklyn-based artist Ryan McNamara.
“The Dallas Symphony commissioned me to create a performance that involved the musicians. I knew that I wanted to avoid simply having them score a performance of mine, instead have the musicians be the focus, and this was the starting point in the creation of the piece Movement,” McNamara says. “We set up a press conference in which Jonathan Martin, the CEO of The Dallas Symphony, and Anna Sophia van Zweden, the director of Soluna, discussed the upcoming festival. During this, the audience heard a far off cello playing. The sound became louder, and then viola joined. The audience slowly noticed that the musicians were on individual carts being pushed toward them. In the end a total of 8 musicians circled them as the music, Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Movement Two (reworked so that the music would build one instrument at a time), gradually drowned out Anna Sophia’s speech.”
The piece was create as a response to the massive Ellsworth Kelly piece, which graces the Meyerson Symphony Center: the cart-pushers’ were dressed in coveralls corresponding to the four blue, green, black and red-colored panels which makes one of the largest Kelly pieces the now 90-year-old American artist has ever created.
“I do plan on doing a larger piece in 2015. Perhaps then Ellsworth Kelly can come to Dallas as well,” McNamara, who has created pieces for Performa13, The Watermill Center, MoMA PS1 and The Whitney, notes.
The festival, which takes place May 8-9, 2015, will also include works from Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist and Filmmaker Yael Bartana. Stay tuned, we will!
Photos by Sylvia Elzafon.