“It’s not a mashup or a mix. We’re not trying to make Vivaldi super ‘down with the kids’ or anything,” says Anna Meredith, a diversely talented composer of contemporary classical and electronic music. She’s speaking about Anno, a multi-sensory experience inspired by Vivaldi’s famous programmatic Op. 8 violin concertos known as “The Four Seasons” (recently chosen by KING FM listeners as one of the Top Ten Favorite Concertos). The installation performance combined paintings of her sister, Eleanor Meredith, inspired by Vivaldi’s seminal work.
Projections of Eleanor’s pseudo-abstract illustrations surrounded the audience on nine massive screens, who sat in the very center of London’s Oval Space for the presentation at the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival on June 6 and 7. Also surrounding the audience was a group of musicians from the Scottish Ensemble, who moved around from left to right as the work proceeded through a year’s four seasons. The music of Anno, although inspired by Vivaldi’s original seasons, was meant to present a different context for their depiction of the passing of a year. Intertwined with cadenzas and percussive electronics, Anna’s music joined the four concertos into one hour-long musical journey, accompanied by colorful visual representations of a year’s events.