VIDEO PREVIEW: Yorkshire world premiere for Brexit inspired piano recital European Unison
A Brexit inspired recital written for 28 pianos - one for each member of the European Union - hopes to hit the right notes with Remain supporters when it gets its world premiere this weekend in Yorkshire.
But the performance involving 28 pianists is such an ambitious undertaking it may never be played again live, says young composer Ruth Spencer Jolly.
The 30-minute piece, called European Unison, tells the story of the EU from its birth to Brexit - tickets are free for the premiere at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds, on Sunday, March 26, at 6pm. To reserve your free tickets visit www.eventbrite.co.uk
WATCH: Five minutes of the recital was performed in an exclusive preview, followed by a Brexit debate, on our Facebook Live stream which has reached more than 35,000 people. Watch it back on demand - CLICK HERE.
Remain supporter Ruth, aged 23, describes her work as a eulogy to the rich cultural exchange and peacekeeping cooperation that the EU was founded upon.
She says the ensemble of pianos demonstrates that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ and the UK Brexit piano will symbolically be white.
Plans are to feature a recording of it online but the logistics of getting 28 pianists to play 28 pianos at the same time probably means the live performance could be a one off, she added.
"It has been a huge task to get 28 pianists together and 28 pianos to play it on - which I couldn't have done without the support of Besbrode Pianos," she said.
"I don't even know whether it will be performed ever again like this. It may be a one off."
She added: “Exiting the European Union will sorely impact a young generation of people - my generation – born European citizens with the right to travel freely and work anywhere in the European Union."
"We now face an uncertain future in which these rights are likely to be revoked - another unwelcome blow in a series of unfortunate events, leaving a generation already financially stretched and disillusioned.
“I was shocked and saddened by the EU referendum result of June 2016. I felt the need to respond artistically to such a momentous occasion and the idea for the work originated from a place of disappointment about the position in which we currently find ourselves. The score is the most complex thing I’ve ever written. The piece is written for 28 pianos, each representing a European country. The composition tells the story of the EU chronologically and the pianists join the ensemble in the order that their country did, marking their entrance with their national anthem.”
Ruth, from Birmingham, who recently graduated from the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford is currently Artist in Residence at St George’s School, Ascot. She has been noted as ‘one to watch’, profiled on Radio 3 Young Artists’ Day in 2015 and has featured in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibitions this year. She specialises in an interdisciplinary practice called Musart, which lies in the grey zone between the visual arts and music.
Melvin Besbrode, owner of Besbrode Pianos, a specialist piano dealer and wholesaler who is a specialist restorer of grand and upright pianos, said: “I am delighted to support Ruth and her artistic vision.
"Even though we export Â£1m worth of pianos to China I am saddened by the potential impact of Brexit and the possible break-up of the EU. I travel extensively around Europe to buy and restore antique pianos and I worry for the future, not just for trading opportunities, but the potential rise of discrimination, isolationism, inequality and division.”
For more about Besbrode Pianos visit www.besbrodepianos.co.uk