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Calder Piece

23/11/2015
Earle Brown’s ‘Mobile’ work gets UK premiere
The Tate Modern in London recently hosted the UK premiere of Earle Brown’s 1966 composition Calder Piece which was also the first performance of the work in over 30 years. The concerts coincide with the opening of the Tate Modern's exhibition: Alexander Calder: Performing Sculptures which will remain open through April 3rd, 2016.

TateShots, the Tate Modern's YouTube channel has released a video summary of the premiere as seen in the link provided.

TateShots: Performing Sculpture




Calder's Piece began with two artists admiring each others work which resulted in a collaboration to produce a unique performance piece. Earle Brown’s open style of composing has been referred to as “mobile compositions” so it would be fate that the mobile artist and the mobile composer would meet in 1953. The two began to design a percussion piece after Brown was commissioned by the Paris Percussion Quartet in 1963. The mobile Calder created was named Chef d’Orchestre which translates to “conductor”. Not only does Calder’s mobile “lead” the quartet’s performance but it becomes one of the 100 instruments needed in the score. The piece made its world premiere in 1967 at the Théâtre de l’Atelier in Paris. For the November 2015 concerts, The Guildhall School of Music will lend its percussion ensemble and another Brown work, November 1952 (based on Cage’s Atlas Eclipticalis) will conclude the concerts.
Brown had specific instructions that Calder Piece was never to be played without the Calder mobile, so there is no question why there has not been a performance in 30 years.


visit the Calder exhibit site


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