Through the lens of Lou Smith.

London Contemporary Orchestra and SDNA @ Ron Arad’s Curtain Call

I was fortunate enough recently to have been asked to take some photos of a recent performance by the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Roundhouse as part of the Installation piece Ron Arad’s curtain call. by my friends Valentina Floris and Ben Foot of  SDNA

The orchestra played in an amphitheatre of silicon rods arranged like an endless curtain, onto whose surface a seamless and constantly shifting series of visuals played out on and through an epic 360° diaphanous canvas.

Dreamlike and at times unsettling images of quivering insects – a trademark of SDNA, the creative brains behind the content of the projections – exposed and contained by the spotlight’s disc, random interspecies juxtaposition, sometimes reaching nightmarish proportions. Death’s Head Moths, giant Mantids and Lacewings, and the ever-recurring trembling urgency of the moths. At other times geometric slabs and filaments of light suggest a living bar code, or piano keys. Serene oceans of blue with Anemone tentacles soothe and entrance. Huge images of Big Sister are half-glimpsed through the slow-motion shutter of an out of sync  zoetrope. A rhythmic procession of slowly revolving dancers drift down like dandelion seeds. The visuals build to an Orwelian climax of a kind of giant clock machine, whose huge cogs crunch inexorably round, dwarfing the crisp silhouettes of the audience, who are by now exploring outside the curtain and are propped up against the walls or the rings of pillars that define the space. Here and there they notice a choral group on the balcony or a stringed quartet or two, nestling between more pillars. All in all a Smörgåsbord of visual delights, with a damn fine orchestra thrown in.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I was asked to photograph it, which I did. It was a pleasure as it looked so good, and complemented the topography of the space so well, offering plenty of scope for dynamic images.

Here are some of the pictures on SNDA’s wall.

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