Debs Williams’ choice: The Helicopter String Quartet

screen shot from the space of the helicopter string quartet - four musicians in hi vis jackets in helicopters...Debs Williams is a Relationship Manager for Arts Council England, specialising in theatre and with a keen interest in digital. She is also a maker and creator in her own right, and known for her strong but fair views – on disability, politics and artistic practice. We are delighted she is involved in Short Circuit as she always focuses on access, artists and quality – three elements we are placing at the centre of our process.

She has chosen Stockhausen‘s The Helicopter String Quartet – an amazing piece where orchestra members play in separate helicopters circling locations, with the feed of all being accessed by those on the ground.

It was first created in 1995 in Holland and has been recreated a number of times since, including during the cultural olympiad last year. Each performance requires:

four helicopters, each equipped with a pilot and sound technician, television transmitter and 3-channel sound transmitter, and an auditorium with four columns of televisions and loudspeakers, a sound projectionist with mixing desk, and a moderator (optional), as well as the members of the string quartet.

So why does Debs see it as a ‘masterpiece’?

It’s a masterpiece because its taking the old, well known, traditional and ‘normal’ and making something new from it, enthralling and exciting a different audience who will then take it on and do something else with it.

As Debs says: ‘What is more masterful than that?’

 (You can see the piece on The Space here)

 

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