I’m Rachel fryer, I’m a pianist and I live in Newhaven, East Sussex.
Since 2012 I’ve been making a study of Bach’s Goldberg Variations – his epic 75 minute piece for solo keyboard. I’ve performed it frequently since then and have recorded a CD of them. Now I would like to extend Bach’s vision into the modern world with a new project.
I’m creating a project called Variations down the Line. This will commission 5 composers to each write three variations using the chords or bass line from Bach’s Goldberg variations as a starting point. So it will be like a 21st century response to Bach’s original.
The new variations will be a range of standards up to grade 8 so they will be accessible to student and amateur pianists after the performances. We’re already looking at other ways to create a legacy for the project, such as creating an interactive website with recordings and scores to download onto tablets.
I’ve got 5 composers on board with the project who are: Michael Finnissy, Samuel Becker, Nicola Lefanu, Alison Kay and Julian Broughton. I’ve chosen them, not only because I really like their music and have worked with quite a few of them but also because between them they’ll produce a really diverse set of responses.
The plan is to intersperse the new variations into Bach’s original and perform them together as a tour of rural festivals in Kent and Sussex in 2020. So far we have interest from festivals throughout those counties including Adur Arts Live (Shoreham, West Sussex) and Jam on the Marsh based in Romney, Kent and other festivals based in Adur, Dover, Wealden, and Rother.
Alongside the performances we’ll be offering talks and CoMA Sussex (Contemporary music for all) will be working with Rachel Fryer to deliver workshops with the public and in local schools.
We’re applying to various organisations for funding but I’m on Crowdfunder because we still need to raise at least £2,000 for the commission fees and to fund expenses for the workshops.