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  • "FRIDA" by Paul Edlin will be performed on 10 July 2022 in Queen Mary University of London’s Octagon

"FRIDA" by Paul Edlin will be performed on 10 July 2022 in Queen Mary University of London’s Octagon

29 June 2022

First premiered at the Oxford Festival of the Arts in 2019, "Frida" an operatic monodrama that explores several periods of Frida Kahlo's life and her tumultuous relationship with muralist Diego Rivera using material from her diary presented in twelve tableaux.

The Magnetic Resonator Piano (MRP), a ground-breaking instrument developed by Dr. Andrew McPherson from Queen Mary's Centre for Digital Music, will be at the center of the performance. The MRP is a hybrid acoustic-electronic instrument which - when you alter pressure, position and other elements - allows you to keep shaping the sound even after pressing down. This comes from electromagnets on the piano strings that bend the sound and create new music in the process.

All of the new compositions included in this 2022 edition, written by three recent Royal College of Music graduates, contain the MRP. These appeared after they spent time experimenting with and perfecting the instrument after Professor McPherson gave them a demonstration of it in 2019.

Paul Edlin, composer and Queen Mary’s Director of Music said: "Katie Bray and East London Music Group gave the magnificent premiere of Frida, with Katie 'becoming' the great artist and Matthew Hardy and his brilliant musicians making light of all the work's challenges.

“It's wonderful to know that after the pandemic, they can all bring the piece to life again - and on what is for me home territory.”

Matthew Hardy, conductor and Artistic Director of the East London Music Group said: “This programme explores a fascinating sound world that has the Magnetic Resonator Piano at its centre. Katie Bray is a singer who brings true emotional depth and variety to her work and the Octagon at Queen Mary provides the perfect setting.”

(taken from Queen Mary University of London website)