theremin, string quartet, and video (by Lothar Osterburg) (2007)

(excerpt) Performed by Elizabeth Brown, theremin, with the Momenta Quartet

From Elizabeth Brown: Mirage New World 80751-2

video (by Lothar Osterburg
Elizabeth Brown, theremin, with the Momenta Quartet
(note: the video begins in silence)

duration: 14′

program note
Piranesi, the 3rd collaboration between Lothar Osterburg and Elizabeth Brown, is inspired by the dramatic, exaggerated architectural world created by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) in his Carceri, or imaginary prisons. One of the masterpieces of printmaking, the Carceri are notable for being issued in two states: initially in 1744 when Piranesi was 24, then again 17 years later, in a heavily worked, dramatically darker version; these two states give the viewer a unique insight into the creative mind and working process of the artist. In his homage to Piranesi, Osterburg uses stop-motion animation to capture the many stages in his own unique artistic process, from the initial conception to the completion of a photogravure, his printmaking specialty. Osterburg and Piranesi, who share an October 4th birthday, both combine a unique artistic vision with an outstanding technical expertise in etching. Brown combines string quartet, with its long history in western culture, with the wild card of the theremin!

Lothar Osterburg’s website:

For more information on Piranesi:

To see some of the Carceri: