As part of the Sacconi Residency Weekend, I was invited to collaborate for one of the events. I interpreted this as an opportunity to re-contextualise the listening experience of classical music. Using the acoustic nature of the medium of the quartet to its advantage by relocating the quartet out of the concert space and placing them directly into the forces of nature.
Sunday 24th October 2021
10.45am – 11.30am
Sunny Sands, Folkestone, Kent
As we fall into Beethoven’s last quartet, Op.131, the intermittent melancholy seems relevant to the zeitgeist of sadness at the state of our sickening and battered earth.
We look out to sea, and like Matthew Arnold in his poem Dover Beach, feel the loss of grace, the loss of hope for humanity and we sense the falling stars which seem inundated by too many humans, incessantly pushing and shoving for more.
To place this exquisite and sublime piece of music, played by the very highest quality players, out onto the Folkestone beach, using the extraordinary acoustics of the Sunny Sands arches to propel it, seems like the obvious thing to do, as humanity reaches a brink.
Beethoven on the Beach is a call to the gods of the oceans and to the Sun as we roll around it again and again, to take pity on us, such successful humans with our eloquence, our brilliance and our awful selfishness and greed.
At the end, as in the beginning, there is light, of the Sun; it arcs and we see time, we sense the turning earth and we feel the tide rise and fall.
We are part of this great universe. All is as it’s meant to be.
Kate Beaugié, September 2021
A small selection of scans of 35mm photograph negatives by © Kate Beaugié