Tate Modern Makes Music With Chemical Brothers For Tate Tracks Project

By Richard Moss | 31 August 2006
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a photograph of a young man and young woman wearing headphones whilst looking at a sculpture

Visitors at Tate Modern listening to the Chemical Brothers 'Rock Drill' in front of Jacob Epstein's 'The Rock Drill', 1913-14. © Tate Photography

Tate has joined forces with some of the biggest names in the music industry to launch Tate Tracks, an innovative new web project aimed at enticing a younger, streetwise audience into the gallery.

Launched on September 1 2006 the project will eventually showcase a range of music from artists as varied as the Chemical Brothers, Graham Coxon and Roll Deep – each of them inspired by specific works of art on display at Tate Modern.

Each month visitors to the gallery will be able to listen to a new track at listening points situated next to the piece of art that inspired it. The tracks will then be downloadable the following month from the Tate Tracks website at www.tatetracks.org.uk

a photograph of a sculpture representing a man from the torso up

Jacob Epstein, Torso in Metal from 'The Rock Drill', 1913-14. Picture courtesy Tate. © Estate of J. Epstein

“Tate Tracks highlights just how powerful the relationship between music and art can be and we’re delighted to work with so many major musicians,” said Will Gompertz, Director of Tate Media. “Each act has responded distinctly to the artwork chosen and the results are inspirational.”

The first track, by the Chemical Brothers, was made in response to a sculpture by Jacob Epstein and can be listened to via headphones in the gallery from September 1.

Entitled Rock Drill, the music takes it’s inspiration, naturally enough, from Epstein’s Torso in Metal from The Rock Drill (1913-14). The work of art is currently located at Tate Modern on Level 5 in the States of Flux Wing – part of the gallery’s recent re-hang titled UBS Openings: Tate Modern Collection.

a photograph of a washing powder box on a stand

Indie band The Landscapers have chosen Andy Warhol's Brillo as their musical inspiration. Picture courtesy Tate. Lent by the Froehlich Foundation, Stuttgart 2000 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ ARS, NY and DACS

Other musicians and groups so far enticed into making music inspired by art include East London ‘garage/grime’ crew Roll Deep, who have chosen Anish Kapoor’s Ishi’s Light as their musical muse. The piece, a fibreglass and resin sculpture, will have its musical accompaniment by October 1.

Long Blondes, a 5-piece art-rock band from Sheffield have chosen Man Ray’s 'metronome with an eye', Indestructible Object, whilst erstwhile Blur guitarist turned solo artist, Graham Coxon, has opted to take his inspiration from Franz Kline’s abstract painting Meryon.

Other confirmed artists slated in for the coming months include major names from the world of hip-hop, dance and indie-rock such as Rodney P, Klaxons, The Landscapers, Estelle and Union of Knives.

a photograph of a young man and young woman wearing headphones whilst looking at a sculpture

Down with the kids... visitors to Tate Modern listen to the Chemical Brothers. © Tate Photography

Aimed at connecting young urbanites with visual art this latest initiative comes on the back of other music-based events at the gallery. A forthcoming Loud Tate BP Saturdays series kicks off with an Asian Dub Foundation kids' event at Tate Modern on September 23.

The website, which will host the first Chemical Brothers track from October 1, has been developed in conjunction with Tate's online partner BT.

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