Silent Listen: The Tao of Piano – an invitation to visual artists

Event Date: 19th Aug 2023 - 3rd Sep 2023

Composer and pianist Sam Richards, who performed at the Ashburton Arts Centre each Sunday in October 2022, accompanied by static images and designs projected onto the cinema screen, is currently working on 81 compositions for piano, each inspired by one of the chapters/meditations of the Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu (c.400bc). Sam will perform his 10-hour-or-so musical interpretation of these nebulous, quasi abstract verses on Sunday 27 August this year at Ashburton Arts Centre, probably well into the night! While he plays, the words of the verses will simultaneously be projected onto the screen for the benefit of the audience who may bring their own interpretations to them as well as listening to Sam’s musical ones. We would like to present a visual element as a separate exhibition in the Arts Centre’s East Gallery, composed of pictures/images created by any artists who would like to respond to a text or texts of the Tao Te Ching. These works will form an exhibition in that space one week before Sam’s performance and remain on show for a second week after it. In this way, three different types of responses to the Tao Te Ching will be created: by Sam, by the individuals who make up the audience and by the artists. We are inviting any visual artists who are interested in this project to create works inspired by or related to the Tao Te Ching between now and Saturday 12th August, which should provide ample time for the exhibition to be set up.

Sam Richards is using the translation of the Tao Te Ching by D.C.Lau (Penguin Classics) but artists may choose whichever version they like.

For submissions and full details concerning the terms and conditions of the exhibition, sizes of works, invigilation, insurance etc. or any other questions please contact:

Tom Walker: