Danny Driver & Netia Jones - Ligeti Études

Almost the whole of music history, from the Elizabethans to the present day, is grist to the mill of Transition, the multimedia performance group directed by video artist Netia Jones, with singers and instrumentalists recruited according to the works involved. Earlier this year Jones collaborated with the pianist Danny Driver on a staged performance of Musica Ricercata, György Ligeti's 1950s collection of piano pieces, and the same composer was the subject of their latest venture, based around the series of piano Études left unfinished when Ligeti died five years ago.

So many different musical cultures are brought together in Ligeti's extraordinary pieces, they seem tailor-made for Jones's presentations. Together with Driver, she had picked eight of the 18 existing Études, including one, the wispily impressionistic Arc-en-ciel, twice.

Driver's performances, bold, exuberant and precise, were counterpointed not only by video projections, but with an actor. Andrew Stephen, in nerdy spectacles and a striped jumper, spent the performance seated at a 1980s computer, tapping out notes on the Studies and their starting points, from medieval Notre Dame composers to the tribal music of central Africa.

References to all of that, and more, appeared on the screen above the piano. Such visuals can be distracting in live performance; here they managed to be appropriately complementary, whether it was the Space Invaders game accompanying the dislocated ragtime of Fem, or the swirling water images for Zauberlehrling, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Andrew Clements, The Guardian (UK)
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