Lights On: Martin Creed Unveils New Composition Inspired By J.S. Bach’s Organ works

Martin Creed is a very busy man this spring. With his highly acclaimed, thought-provoking survey of art currently at the Hayward Gallery, the 2001 Turner prize winner is about to present ‘Mind Trap’  his new CD, and composition for the restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ. This has its premiere on 30 March. A performance of music and dance also takes place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 8 April, while his retrospective, What’s The Point Of It?, continues at the Hayward Gallery until 27 April.
Turner Prize
Creed is best known for his Work No 227: The Lights Going On And Off which love it or loath it made a huge impact on the way we perceive installation art. It paved the way for others such as Simon Starling and Susan Philipsz to go on to win the accolade. Creeds Work No 1197: All The Bells, which opened the 2012 Olympics, millions participated in the piece by ringing bells at a designated time across the nation, as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes.

As a composer, Creed has written for orchestras and ensembles, and his Work No.409 can be heard every day by visitors to Southbank Centre, who hear the main lift in Royal Festival Hall singing its way up and down between the floors. The rigorous systems and equations in Creed’s work bring to mind the mathematic-like perfection of Bach’s music, and in this concert Work No.1815, written for the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall organ, is performed alongside some of Bach’s greatest organ works. Performers include James McVinnie on organ and Martin Creed on mouth organ.

Martin Creed was born in Wakefield in 1968 and currently lives and works in London. He moved with his family to Glasgow at age 3 when his silversmith father got a job teaching. He grew up revering music and art. His parents were Quakers, and he was taken often to Quaker meetings. He attended Lenzie Academy school, near Glasgow, and studied art at the Slade School of Art at University College London from 1986 to 1990. Creed’s work is often a small intervention in the world, making use of existing materials or situations rather than bringing new material into the world. He uses whatever medium seems suitable.

Photograph © Alastair Muir

Martin Creed Hayward Gallery: Until  27 April 2014