Live Music Now South West celebrated the life and music of Yehudi Menuhin with a unique project imagining the musical memories which his violin might hold.
Artist Heidi Hinder and composer Richard Barnard worked with children in schools across Devon, and the material they produced, together with extracts from Yehudi’s recordings, an interview with his daughter Zamira, and original scores and materials from in the Royal Academy of Music’s Menuhin archive, came together to produce a visual and aural evocation of Menuhin’s life and work. The resulting installation was displayed at The Mix festival for Devon schools and at Dartington Hall over the summer, and the project is beautifully captured in this film by Jonathan Rowley.
The children’s responses to Menuhin’s music were insightful and creative:
Alison and I were improvising using glassy shimmering harmonics and a boy named K was just doing the most incredible drawing. The lines he drew followed the pitch almost exactly, and the note lengths, and even the mood we were trying to convey. As we were playing I really couldn’t take my eyes off his pen. He ended up with a drawing that looked like an amazing rocky landscape. (LMN musician).
“Belly twisting, quick and frightening”
“Quite savage when they were going quick”
“Some was bouncy and some was quite dark”
“Dramatic and graceful”
(On music by Bach, Mozart and Bart?k)
They were equally excited about the music they themselves composed:
“Loud and magnificent”
“Serious, exciting, feels like a sunrise”
“Solemn and like rain slowly pitter pattering on the window”
“Lively and a bit stomach churning…jumpy, happy and a heart beat raiser”
More images from the project, along with blogs from the artists, can be seen on the project website: https://menuhinsviolin.wordpress.com/
This project was made possible through funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Bridge Trust, and The Boshier-Hinton Foundation.