Thomas Adès and Frank Gehry, 2008



Britain’s foremost composer Thomas Adès was invited by the Serpentine and Frank Gehry to launch Park Nights 2008 with a performance in the Pavilion. A dazzling pianist, composer and conductor of international renown, Adès combined his own music with that of the legendary composer Conlon Nancarrow best-known for his compositions for the Player Piano or self-playing piano, which is able to produce extremely complex rhythm patterns. With visuals by Tal Rosner.

Gehry’s spectacular structure – designed and engineered in collaboration with Arup – was anchored by four massive steel columns and comprised large timber planks and a complex network of overlapping glass planes that created a dramatic, multi-dimensional space. Gehry and his team took inspiration for the Pavilion from a fascinating variety of sources, including the elaborate wooden catapults designed by Leonardo da Vinci and the striped walls of summer beach huts to create part-amphitheatre, part-promenade for the summer of 2008.

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