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Event: Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason rescore Solaris at the Barbican

Text by CLOT Magazine


London’s Barbican Centre opened Into The Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction this June. The exhibition, curated by Swiss historian and writer Patrick Gyger explores Science Fiction as an experimental genre and aims to present a new, global perspective.  Delving into sci-fi storytelling roots to discover how its visionary creators captured utopias and dystopias around the world.

As part of the exhibition’s parallel events, on Saturday 29th, musicians Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason’s brought over to the centre their score inspired by Solaris, the 1972 seminal film by Andrei Tarkovsky (in itself based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem (1961)).

The film delves into posthuman disturbing metaphysics, also acclaimed as one of sci-fi’s masterpieces and a real visual gem. The project was commissioned by Unsound in 2010 to be performed with Krakow’s Sinfonietta Cracovia. The starting point of Music for Solaris was Ben Frost’s dissatisfaction with the original score. 

The result feels otherworldly and unsettlingly odd throughout the performance, and the visuals -envisaged not to distract from the music- sum up this unsteady feeling. At the end of the performance, there was a Q&A session with Unsound’s Director Mat Schulz, which brought an interesting discussion on the project’s creative process.

(Pictures courtesy of Unsound and the Barbican)
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