20 Sept 2012

Culture Night at 126 Gallery: Artist talk & performance by Michael Karr

126 Gallery present:

Four preludes to history: The symphony that's beginning to end

Michael Karr

Artist talk and performance by Michael Karr
7pm | Friday 21st September 2012

As part of Culture Night this Friday 21st September, 126 welcomes visitors to the gallery to see Michael Karr's new exhibition "Four preludes to history: The symphony that's beginning to end", with an artist talk and performance by Michael Karr at 7pm.

Four preludes to history is a bundled sequence of all of the preludes in Michael Karr’s absurdist audiovisual collage The symphony that’s beginning to end: a 16-hour-long comprehensive recomposition of music history, which consists of 9,000 fragments of recorded music from 1800 BCE up to 2012.

The preludes, containing some 1,000 fragments, are layered in a dynamic sequence lasting 200 minutes over 4 chapters and performed by three musicians sharing a variety of instruments on one stage. Four preludes premiered from the 2nd to the 5th of September in SugarFactory (Amsterdam). These performances have been reconstructed as a multimedia installation in the 126 gallery space and the DVD is available for purchase.

From an audio-visual standpoint, collage and symphony are so closely related that the one can serve to illustrate the other. Composed and performed by means of a spatial collage, this symphony gives insight in the progressive simultaneous production of sound that has been evolving since the beginning of time.  We know that instruments have been around for more than 10,000 years, but the earliest (surviving) recordings are to be found on 4,000 year-old clay tablets.  With time this developed to a standardized means of notation and somehow this has all logically spawned dubstep and several thousand other genres of music.

We now have to rely on academic interpretations of early music; before that, there is only speculation based on archaeological findings.  As natural selection of art happens through destruction and conservation, it remains the question what will be seen as early music after another 4,000 years and how much will be misinterpreted or forgotten; for the time being, explore it while it’s around! 


Michael Karr:
composition, vocals, recorders and percussion

Rik Möhlmann:
keyboards, electronics, guitar, flutes and percussion

Cristina Beteringhe:
violin, vocals, flutes and percussion

David Bordeleau:
violoncello, vocals and percussion
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