Foundation Tallinn 2011
As part of the prestigious European Capital of Culture Programme, the Foundation Tallinn 2011 produced a series of World of Glass concerts that was part of Capital of Culture’s grande finale and is remembered as one of that year’s most unique concepts, successfully bridging starkly differing artistic disciplines.
World of Glass’s core preparation for Tallinn began in 2009, with the project culminating with sold out concerts in the esteemed Von Krahl Theatre - where the audiences were mesmerised by Terje + Arve playing 30 fantasy glass instruments emitting bright, intense blue light and exquisite sound, all against a jet black stage backdrop.
For 2 years, celebrated Estonian glass artists accompanied by students of ‘glass art’ from the Estonian Academy of Arts searched for unusual glass shapes that would lend well to a musician’s own creative process. With a deliberate absence of visual reference, drawings or concepts - the glass artists were encouraged to freely imagine designs once they had consulted traditional instrument makers about key qualities of mouth piece shape, string attachment points and the practicalities of tuning different tones. There was much trail and error during these 2 years and often the students and artists wondered whether they would create a truly versatile musical instrument or simply a beautiful free form piece of art!
Although glass can be such a fragile and sensitive material to work with - breaking without obvious reason - the students and artists constantly refined their glass instruments processes and were soon ready to start collaborating with Terje + Arve.
Repeatedly visiting Tallinn, Terje + Arve gave the students and artists tips about distilling musical techniques into the glass designs to achieve a desired sound. These visits climaxed in April 201, where musicians and artists tirelessly tested, jammed and recorded with the glass instruments. Over 2 days of testing, each instrument received bespoke alterations, from adding details such as holes and polishing the glass thinner to produce a more pleasing timbre.
The World of Glass performances were a tour de force of musical prowess. Each glass instrument produced a dynamic range of tonality and intensity - from near silent meditation and soft-hued soundscapes one moment - then suddenly replaced by thunderously powerful darts of sound which painted an aural image of a stormy sea washing over the audience.
Spell bound concert goers gathered onstage after each performance and looked closely at the works of art before heading home in a cold, December Tallinn night.
Madli-Liis Parts Producer / World of Glass
Terje Isungset + Arve Henriksen
World of Glass Producer
Glass Art Project Managers
Eeva Käsper + Mare Saare
Glass Instruments / Artists of Estonian Academy of Arts
Tiina Sarapu + Kristiina Uslar + Eve Koha + Eeva Käsper + Eero Vaikre
Glass Instruments / Students of Estonian Academy of Arts
Andra Jõgis + Mikk Jäger + Külli Nidermann + Caspar Sild + Maarja Treufeldt
Stage and Furniture Design
Tiina Sarapu + Eeva Käsper
Kaupo Kikkas / www.kaupokikkas.com