Review: Architecture of Time
Sunday, 2 October 2016. Forty-five downstairs, Melbourne.
"A refreshingly powerful, provocative and persuasive performance, the hour spent immersed with Lifschitz’s interpretations in Architecture of Time was a profoundly timeless experience.
The program showcased Liftschitz's mastery in evoking a broad range of sounds from the instrument, from the harsh depth from Crumb's Aries: Spring-Fire, the warmth sensitivity to evoke particularly Tchaikovsky's October: Autumn Song, to the lyricism that soars above in Crumb's Gemini: Dream Images. Her sensitivity to the instrument was beautifully paired with the ability to draw out the sonority of individual sounds, notwithstanding the contrast in tone, colour and timbre that the program demands.
Unlike many of the classic piano concerts, the audience was invited to a sonic world whereby the piano was interspersed with vivid abstraction of poetry and screen visuals. In this sense, meaning is found interwoven between sounds that are spoken and played, punctuated with selections of documented footage in selected works.
The program was sensitively crafted to draw the mind into exploring discourses of utopia and dystopia, equality, liberty and ultimately questions our persuasions on such matters. As the sonic journey rises to a crescendo from the depth of Crumb’s Spiral Galaxy to Davidson’s Not Now Not Ever,
I noticed the various chuckles and expressions in the audience’s faces as they witnessed Gillard’s 2012 rousing speech on misogyny, cleverly punctuated and amplified by the musical interpretation.
Selections of Tchaikovsky’s Seasons were interspersed between Crumb’s selected works from Makrokosmos, which reflected both the emotional and visceral effects of the proceeding pieces in this sonic journey. Here, one realises Lifschitz’s exemplary curation of the program in containing and respecting the space within which the energy of the performance can be felt: in between her recitation of poetic verses by Melbourne poets in response to selected musical works, the silence between what is spoken and played was a much-welcomed reprise for intellectual digestion.
After presenting the impassioned questions of liberty through Davidson’s Free Architecture, so rages the fire of this discourse in Crumb’s Aries: Spring-Fire, which slowly burns into wisps of the tail end of the program, as Crumb’s Gemini: Dream Images. The performance finalises with evocations of hope, one that inspires us to look upward toward the cosmos, from which this journey all first began."
Written by Natasha Lin