Spielberg Études note from Nicole Lizée

Spielberg Études

Louth Contemporary Music Society will hold a concert on 4 May 2019 in Drogheda featuring three pieces of my music. The centrepiece of the programme will be a brand new work Spielberg Études  referring to films by Steven Spielberg, commissioned by Louth Contemporary Music Society. The Canadian pianist Megumi Masaki will also perform in two earlier compositions with which she has been associated from the beginning: Hitchcock Études (giving a new twist to Psycho) and Kubrick Études.
Spielberg Études is part of an ongoing collection of glitch pieces that delve into the worlds of iconic filmmakers.

Spielberg’s early films are some of my favourites in all of film. Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T. are singular displays of sublime filmmaking technique and storytelling. Inventive and audacious – he swooped in to redefine Hollywood cinema and the notion of ‘the blockbuster’. Spielberg was inventing worlds that hadn’t existed yet and, as such, had to invent the methods in which to convey these worlds. He did this with a team of people that were inspired by his bold vision. This included composer John Williams. The Williams score is the beating heart of a Spielberg film.

Jaws and E.T. are arguably his most idiosyncratic films. Jaws is renowned for nearly falling apart. It was imagination and creativity – and skill – that kept it from combusting; and in the process of keeping it from collapsing it completely revolutionized cinema.

The behind the scenes footage of these films is as enthralling as the films themselves. It’s like pulling apart a machine and looking at its innards; revealing the intricacies and the components that make it work – many of which are surprising and unconventional.

Akin to Spielberg’s use of tactile effects (rather than digital post production effects) this set of études finds alternative ways to express sounds and visuals. The videos include ‘ultra analogue plugins’: created by hand; using paper, scissors and paint – to replace certain digital effects. The pianist uses extra devices to colour and embellish the piano writing – emulating synths, samplers, audio effects and glitch, without the use of electronics.
Spielberg Études zooms in on the process – the making of, and behind the scenes – to emphasize the beauty of the artistic process and creating form from chaos.
Nicole Lizée

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Spielberg Études was commissioned by Eamonn Quinn for Louth Contemporary Music Society and was funded by the Arts Council.
The world premiere performance takes place in St.Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda on 4 May 2019 as part of Drogheda Arts Festival. Tickets available here https://droghedaartsfestival.ticketsolve.com/shows/873602535