A number of short pieces for unaccompanied viola were commissioned to respond to the exceptional circumstances of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The following composers agreed to participate:
Commissioned by The Viola Commissioning Circle with five commissions generously supported by Nicholas and Judith Goodison
Each piece was filmed at a different location and then released on social media:
Lockdown Commission #1 'Power' by Huw Watkins was filmed on the roof of St John's Smith Square and released on Instagram and YouTube on 5 June 2020
Lockdown Commission #2 'Quartet for One' by Garth Knox was filmed in the Royal Festival Hall and released on Instagram and YouTube on 26 June 2020
Lockdown Commission #3 'Objets Trouvés' by Esa-Pekka Salonen was filmed in the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh and was released on the EIF website on 8 August 2020 and subsequently on Lawrence Power's Instagram and YouTube channels
Lockdown Commission #4 'Daylonging, Slacktide' by Cassandra Miller was filmed in and around Snape Maltrings and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 6 August 2020
Lockdown Commission #5 'Matchless Space' by Martyn Brabbins was filmed in the London Coliseum and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 1 November 2020
Lockdown Commission #6 'This Poor Room' by William Marsey was filmed at Lawrence Power's home in London and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 25 December 2020
Lockdown Commission #7 'Locked in C' by Erkki-Sven Tüür was filmed in the Wigmore Hall and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 13 April 2021
Lockdown Commission #8 'mixed phrases' by Héloïse Werner was filmed at The Asylum, Peckham and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 31 July 2021
The Lockdown Commissions were nominated for a Southbank Sky Arts Award in 2020.
During lockdown, viola player Lawrence Power commissioned ten short pieces, all to be filmed in venues currently vacated as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. Aside from being creatively fascinating, the films have also proved a poignant exploration of the relationship between an artist - necessarily performing solo - and a location more usually encountered as place of shared musical experience.Gramophone Magazine