Last week, we had a day in the Studio at the Bristol Old Vic with the lighting engineer and camera crew to test out our ideas. We experimented with different ways to hang our projection screens, thought about where to position the projectors, tested out the cameras and experimented with lighting effects. Our general aim is to create a setting that will enhance the intimacy of the Quartet’s performance. In so doing, we want to help bring the uninitiated into the music without spoiling things for aficionados. Quite a challenge we know but heh – that’s what the Bristol Proms is all about.
We are keen to use drapes as opposed to flat screens to create an ‘organic’ setting for the projections in keeping with the humanity of Beethoven’s late works. We plan to hang them vertically – one for each musician – to privilege a portrait-style view of the players. The thinking behind this is that it will enable us to layer closeups onto a baseline mid shot of each musician playing. We only had one musician, which was me – rather scratchy but enough to establish that the layering of close-ups over a static mid-shot creates some beautiful imagery which is absorbing to watch.