Now on YouTube: a 48-minute video “slideshow” of eight beautiful abstract paintings by Gerhard Richter, set to the music they inspired Bill Frisell and his trio of strings (Hank Roberts, Jenny Scheinman, Eyvind Kang) to create back in 2002. The slideshow was designed as a CD-ROM Flash program for Songlines’ RICHTER 858 SACD, but technological advances soon made it impossible for most people to access it, as computers switched to Intel processors from the less powerful Power PC processors. So, for the past seven or eight years, few have been able to experience the powerful combination of Frisell’s compositions and Richter’s art.
In November 2012, marking the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Richter 858 music, Vancouver New Music presented the 858 Quartet at the Vancouver Playhouse, and their second set featured the Richter 858 compositions plus (for the only time) projections of the paintings and details that appeared in the slideshow, on a large screen behind the performers. The concert was a huge success, and that started us thinking about how to make the slideshow available again in some form. Redoing it using the current version of Flash was a possibility, but it seemed that would again limit accessibility in the future, plus the amount of space on an enhanced CD did not allow either the visuals or the music to be presented in high quality. So we reconstructed the slideshow as a 720p video, with 44.1K AAC sound, and have made it freely available here.