American composer

American composer turns iconic Ottawa spider into music

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Washington Monument and now the iconic Ottawa Mom.

American composer Rob Kapilow travels the world to transform renowned monuments into musical compilations.

This week he tries to answer a rather interesting question: what is the distinctive spider statue in the capital? ring As?

“Here is this famous iconic sculpture that everyone knows in Ottawa and indeed not only in Ottawa, but around the world and certainly all of Canada,” Kapilow told CBC Radio. Ottawa morning Friday.

Just outside the National Gallery of Canada stands Mom, a 10 meter tall spider, made of bronze, stainless steel and marble and designed by Louise Bourgeois, who died of heart failure in 2010.

Kapilow is in Ottawa listening to the world and the people around him Mom, so that he could compose a piece for Chamberfest, a chamber music festival in the capital.

American composer Rob Kapilow is in Ottawa to see what the Maman sculpture looks like, outside the National Gallery of Canada. (Deborah MacAskill / CBC)

The statue arouses mixed feelings

Kapilow is hosting a public workshop around the statue on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. to get feedback from people who live in Ottawa.

“A lot of people love this sculpture, a lot of people are terrified of it, and that kind of ambivalent feeling really generated a lot of this idea of ​​making music that would represent both sides,” he said.

“There is horrible and terrifying spider music, but there is also beautiful music.”

The project started a summer ago at a Chamberfest meeting, where attendees helped bring the idea to life.

“The first thing everyone said was that there are eight legs for a spider, it should be an octet for eight instruments. It seems so obvious now, in retrospect.”

The piece will feature two violins, a viola, a cello, a piano, a clarinet, a flute and a percussion instrument.

Listen to some of Rob Kapilow’s new works:

“There is something deeply sad”

The title of the sculpture hints at the heartbreaking story behind its birth.

Bourgeois performed the play in memory of his mother, whose death prompted Bourgeouis to attempt suicide during his university studies.

Loss has become the center of his art, inspiring some of his best-known works.

“In a way, this whole room is a memorial to her,” he said. “There is something deeply sad about this.”

Elements of that heartbreak are now part of the music he composes, Kapilow said.

He watched as Bourgeois described his mother, a weaver, as a source of inspiration: delicate, intelligent, patient, subtle and as useful as a spider.

“As soon as I read that, I wanted to put it to music,” he said.

The piece will premiere at the 2019 Ottawa Chamberfest.

Just outside the National Gallery of Canada stands Maman, a 10-meter tall spider made of bronze, stainless steel and marble. (Louise Bourgeois / National Gallery of Canada)

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