For IN·FLO·RES·CENCE Elaine Mitchener was commissioned by Reece Ewing to create a composition for solo piano around 1 minute in length responding to the changes to daily life during the global coronavirus outbreak. As part of the platform hosted by The Showroom, this individual piece and 9 others will all be interpreted and performed by the project’s first Artist-in-Residence, Pianist Elio Villafranca, throughout the duration of the project.

Elaine wrote ‘blutit’ as a piece for solo percussive piano at 81 beats per minute (BPM) “with increasing insistence” with the following performance notes:

unless indicated dynamics are free
change of sound needn’t occur on repetition
before playing observe bird activity
play inside/outside under and over the instrument
your movement is part of the work
you have agency but remember blutit

© elaine mitchener

The 4 parts of ‘blutit’ follow as:

A: pecking beak
B: nest building with twigs twisted/broken
C: against the window (play 3-5 times)
D: psychopathic bird vs. car (play 6-8 times)
E: nestbuilding with leaves (play 4-6 times)
F: point made

Throughout her lockdown experience in London, Elaine embraced silence and reconnected with her surroundings; a newfound sensitivity to sound, connection to rest, and friendship with nature – in particular, how spending time in her garden has taught her the capacity for time to dissolve. It is within this context that Elaine’s special composition ‘blutit’ was created. This piece was directly inspired by the birdsongs she has found herself surrounded by during lockdown, and more specifically a pair of Blue tit birds who had decimated the artist’s window box of winter pansies. These Blue tits’ presence persisted by rhythmically pecking against, and even flying into, Elaine’s window… Yet after time the frustration and concern over potentially psychopathic birds gradually transitioned into a more tender embrace of nature’s mysterious forms of communicating and connecting. Nature’s orchestra.