16 April 2014, Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent.
Landscapes is a four-part song cycle and synthesis of art forms for community choir, soprano soloist, poetry reader, flautist, pianist and sign language interpreter. It is inspired by the art of nineteenth century landscape painter JMW Turner and American abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler. It explores Frankenthaler’s expression of emotion an embodiment in her landscape paintings, and Turner’s belief in creating a heightened experience of art by combining artistic mediums. Landscapes is created to be experienced in a gallery setting, surrounded by the art that inspired it.
Materials: Live choral work for SSAATB community choir, featuring soprano soloist, poetry reader, flautist, pianist and sign language interpreter. To be performed in a gallery setting, in the presence of artworks by JMW Turner and/or Helen Frankenthaler. Circa. 15 minutes.
PhD: Landscapes is included in my PhD ‘Creating Accessible, Inclusive and Engaging Musical Works Through Experimental Processes in the Community‘.
Team: Lead artist, composer & musical director: Emily Peasgood. Choir: Thanet Big Sing Community Choir. Sign language interpreter: Bridget Bree. Poet: Sue Flory. Flautist: Sarah De Bats. Film and live sound recording: Anton French. Photography: Lee Thompson. Studio recording by Big Jelly Studios.
The following resources were created to assist singers in learning Landscapes.
Audio learning resources
In 2017, a studio recording was created at Big Jelly Studios to provide high quality audio learning resources for choirs that wish to perform Landscapes.
Singers were provided with lyrics and optional sheet music. A score will be available to view in July 2020.
16 April 2014: Premiere at Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent as part of the exhibition: Making Painting: The work of JMW Turner and Helen Frankenthaler.
5 December 2014: Performed in Thanet Big Sing Community Choir’s Annual Concert at Queens Road Baptist Church, Broadstairs.
16 April 2016: Performed at Turner Contemporary’s 5th Birthday Celebration by Thanet Big Sing Community Choir.
“I just had to say how amazing the performance was today. It was absolutely stunning and very emotional – it made me cry! Thank you for such a brilliant composition” – Audience member
“Emily’s piece is challenging to perform, but beautiful to listen to. It starts quietly and repetitively, leading you on a journey that gradually builds, the music enhancing the words taken from Turner’s poetry. Turner used poetry alongside his paintings to bring out what he wanted to show to his audience. The music takes you a step further. The exhibition itself shows the development of styles from both Turner and Helen Frankenthaler as they moved further and further into the abstract, emphasising the feeling and emotion within their subjects, and the music really does seem to encapsulate this. As you listen to the music, you are lead on a journey through the exhibition, building to an emotional crescendo. How often is it that you get to be part of an original piece of work, conducted and directed by the composer herself, to be performed in the place housing the work that inspired it? Brilliant” – Performer
“I’m really enjoying participating in this new and innovative piece. I particularly enjoy the drama of the quiet sections building into the more dynamic and flamboyant passages. To me it captures the elements of nature and the sea that Turner was so gifted in portraying – the calm lapping waves in contrast to the stormy seas and skies he captured. Having viewed Turners work in the gallery feel that music really reflects the work on display. With the sound of the music, in my head I can enjoy the emotions I think the artists might have felt while executing their work. It’s always very excited to be involved in live music, and particularly so with a piece of newly commissioned and dynamic composition. Emily is a really gifted musician who makes the experience fun while stretching us at the same time” – Performer