'Faces of Time' - Tai Chi in Performance
In September 2018 we published an article inspired by physicist Carlo Rovelli's book The Order of Time. Now, at https://youtu.be/LwZ7t171sEk is our recital inspired by this work! And by the way - in the photoraph below are two of the other members of our editorial group: Aleks Petrovic on the left and Tanya Korovkin on the right. Clearly they were engaged in an editorial discussion! The fourth member is my wife, Kaarina Higgins.
First the production details:
Performed on November 28th, 2018 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kitchener, 'Faces of Time' is a celebration of quantum time and relativity featuring poetry by Steve Higgins, readings from Carlo Rovelli and Isaac Newton, and music by Phillip Glass, Steve Higgins and Thelonius Monk. It also features choral music by a Wilfrid Laurier University voice major ensemble and Tai Chi by members of Cold Mountain Internal Arts.
Artistic Director, readings and Choreographer - Steve Higgins
Music Director, Producer and Organist - Douglas Haas
Arrangements and horns (piccolo-trumpet, cornet and trumpet) - Randy Brown
Videographer - Dave Mitchell
Vocals by: Emily Grignon, Marisa Duncan, Quade Nielsen, and Matthew Dudziak.
Tai Chi featuring: Peter Reist, Randy Brown, Patricia Beretta, Mike Hodgins, Aleksandra Petrovic, Tanya Korovkin and Steve Higgins.
I hope the notes at the beginning of the program adequately explain the artistic concept! The whole idea came to me after reading Rovelli. In a sense I feel it summarizes a theory of Art -- pretentious but true!
The connection between Glass and Newton, manifest in Glass' Einstein on the Beach, should perhaps be explained. The quotation at the end of our recital is from a letter of Newton which was referred to by Einstein at a late point in his own life. Hence the title of Glass' opus which is another inspiration for the present piece. At one end we have the mathematical strictures of First Knee (from Einstein on the Beach) which is illustrated by Peter Reist. At the other, the free structures of his Aria which evoke a universe that ripples and flows like the surface of the sea!
In the central portion of Faces of Time, Thelonius Monk's music opens things up from my own piece which was beautifully arranged by Randy as a musical canon to illustrate the organization of discrete quanta into 'flow. The canon is flowing but formal. Monk's Round Midnight leads into greater expressiveness and a depiction, by Tanya Korovkin and Aleks Petrovic, of the principle of quantum entanglement.
The closing recapulation of my piece has a certain 'whistling back from the graveyard' quality thanks to Randy and Doug's bit of swing. Honestly, the New Orleans connection only struck me on seeing this video. 'This is not the end' indeed! So much of the creative process comes from unknown depths! I suggested a bit of swing without considering the obvious (except to me!) connection.
My interest in the relationship between quantum physics and Tai Chi dates from when our club membership at Cold Mountain Internal Arts included a young women who was a physicist at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo. Since then my attempts to teach Tai Chi have often relied on examples drawn from the world of physics and my interest, deprived of an adequate background in the sciences, has only grown.