In this sound work, Ceal Floyer deals with the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach. The piece, in which a basic theme, the “aria”, is varied 30 times, followed by another aria, is considered the epitome of perfectly constructed music. The artist acoustically superimposes the aria of all the recordings of the Goldberg Variations, which she was able to obtain on CD, in a “sandwich process” – in other words, one hears all the interpretations at the same time: Floyer’s Variation of the Variations. The piece begins with one tone, but then the tonal chaos breaks out because each pianist plays at a different speed. When the fastest performers have already finished and only the slowest are to be heard, the chaos slowly dissolves. Until at the end only the playing of the one, the slowest interpreter remains – and the piece ends again in perfect harmony.
Goldberg Variation, 2002
- ArtistCeal Floyer
- TitleGoldberg Variation
- Year of Origin2002
- Technique and DurationSound Installation, 5.09 min.
- Erwerbung der StiftungYes
- Donation by Dr. Christian Bauschke to the foundation of the Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie
Ceal Floyer, Goldberg Variations, 2002 (c) Thomas Gunnar Bagge