Acclaimed Pianist Sarah Cahill Takes up Residence in Museum Galleries for Five Days
Performing Mamoru Fujieda’s Magnum Opus Patterns of Plants throughout Opening Hours
February 24–28, 2016
Noguchi Museum | 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard)
Long Island City, NY
New York, NY -- For one week in February, the chill and grey skies of winter will dissipate for visitors to the Noguchi Museum’s ground-floor galleries, where internationally celebrated pianist Sarah Cahill will take up residence, performing Mamoru Fujieda’s stunning cycle of short pieces titled Patterns of Plants throughout the Museum’s opening hours.
A masterpiece by one of the leading postminimalist composers, Patterns of Plants (1996–2011) represents an extraordinary fusion of nature and technology. To create the piece, Fujieda measured the electrical impulses on the leaves of plants, using the "Plantron," a device created by botanist/artist Yūji Dōgane, and converted the data he obtained into sound with Max, a visual programming language used for music and multimedia. He then identified musical patterns within the sound, and used them as the basis for these miniatures. Both captivating and profound, Patterns of Plants has been arranged for different instruments and ensembles. In 2014, Cahill made the first solo piano recording of it to be available outside of Japan, released on the Pinna Records label. The New York Times selected the album for its Classical Playlist, and described Patterns as “delicate miniatures that unfold quietly and calmly. Lean in close to discover the intricate, almost Baroque patterns within.”
Noguchi Museum senior curator Dakin Hart notes, “Noguchi often used modern technologies to fuse nature into art. He would have loved what Fujieda has accomplished here. His Patterns of Plants offer intimations of the orderly, inherently beautiful, natural structures and operations that we once sought as the basis for the universe and everything in it. Physicists once referred to a version of this as the ‘music of the spheres,’ a metaphor for the sound we imagine celestial machinery must make in motion. For those of us who long to hold infinity in the palms of our hands, the microcosmic heavens contained in Fujieda’s Patterns—and exquisitely conveyed by the amazing Sarah Cahill—is a great gift.”
Critically acclaimed pianist Sarah Cahill is a committed advocate for modern and contemporary music. She has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano, and has researched and recorded music by the important early twentieth-century American composers Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford, commissioning new pieces in tribute to their enduring influence. Composers including John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Annea Lockwood, and Evan Ziporyn, have dedicated works to her.
Cahill has performed at venues ranging from San Quentin prison, where the program consisted of music composed by Henry Cowell while he was incarcerated there, to the La Jolla Symphony, San Francisco Symphony’s Soundbox, MIT, and the North Dakota Museum of Art, among many others. www.sarahcahill.com
Internationally recognized as an outstanding composer of his generation, Mamoru Fujieda (b. 1955) began his studies of composition at Tokyo College Music and earned his PhD from the University of California, San Diego. Fascinated by collaboratively composed music, he has worked with artists including John Zorn, Yuji Takahashi, and Malcolm Goldstein, among others. Whether working with a Butoh dancer to produce sound sculptures or reading the electrical currents flowing through an orchid, as he has done for Patterns of Plants, Fujieda is committed to an innovative approach that fuses technology to biology, composer to performer, and music to audience.
The Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum occupies a renovated industrial building dating from the 1920s. The first museum in America to be founded by a living artist to show his or her work, the Museum comprises ten indoor galleries and an internationally acclaimed outdoor sculpture garden. Since its founding in 1985, the Museum—itself widely viewed as among the artist’s greatest achievements—has exhibited a comprehensive selection of sculpture in stone, metal, wood, and clay, as well as models for public projects and gardens, dance sets, and Noguchi’s Akari Light Sculptures. Provocative, frequently-changing installations of the permanent collection, together with the Museum’s diverse special exhibitions and public programs, offer a rich, contextualized view of Noguchi’s work and illuminate his influential legacy of innovation. www.noguchi.org
The Noguchi Museum is open Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. General admission is $10.00; $5.00 for senior citizens and students with a valid ID. New York City public high-school students, children under 12, and Museum members are admitted free of charge.