A new collaboration between Tate Modern, Africa Express and website The Space offers viewers a unique opportunity to interact with a performance by Africa Express and explore Tate Modern's galleries by night...
The interactive film has been created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Terry Riley's composition In C. It features a new interpretation of the work, performed live at Tate Modern in London by musicians brought together by Africa Express and led by classical conductor André de Ridder. Shot on multiple cameras, viewers can interact with the performance online, isolating individual musicians, for example, or focusing on notes played by particular instruments.
In C is often cited as the first minimalist composition, so to accompany the music, audiences are also invited to explore footage of the Tate's collection of minimalist artworks, including pieces by Donald Judd and Frank Stella, filmed at night. In addition, there is also footage of Africa Express and de Ridder recorded in Bamako, Mali, to play with.
The film, which is online here, uses Interlude technology (also featured in Bob Dylan's brilliant interactive film for Like A Rolling Stone, released last year), which allows viewers to choose their own pathway through the work, focusing on the art, or the music, or a bit of both, by pressing simple buttons on screen.
As well as being fun to interact with, the piece demonstrates how complicated artistic concepts such as minimalism can be brought to life for audiences online in unexpected ways, and in the process potentially be made more accessible. We've seen musicians use multiple cameras to film performances before (Beck's Hello Again, for example) and while it is fun to be able to zoom in on instruments and play with the music, it's this film's combination with art – and the setting of Tate Modern – that makes it feel really special, offering a hint of how armchair concert and gallery-going may evolve in the future.