Five reasons you need to catch Heart Variations

Posted on - 23rd April, 2014 - 8:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Music, Preston City Centre, Schools, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston

The wonderfully talented Liverpool String Quartet

Heart Variations comes to Preston Playhouse on Friday April 25. That’s great but what is Heart Variations and why is it going to be such a special show? We spoke to Creative Director Egle Mei who talked to us about how her ultimate goal is to inspire a young generation to carve a better path than the one that came before. With her was the composer Meike Holzmann who spoke glowingly about the project. Here are the five reasons why you absolutely need to catch Heart Variations.


1. It features the Liverpool String Quartet.

These are a group of classical musicians who are part of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Egle said: “Danny, viola, is from Spain. Rakhi,the first violin, is a really good musician who has won a BBC award. Sarah is a really good second violin. The cellist, Nick, is also great. Having it performed by the Liverpool String Quartet is just an honour.”

2. It’s a totally unique idea.

The whole idea of Heart Variations is fantastic. The project involved recording the electrical impulses of the heart and encoding them into notes. Egle said: “The inspiration came from the subject of love. I was very interested in some philosophical ideas about capitalism and overconsumption. Psychologists will tell you to ‘listen to your heart’. So I thought; ‘well how should we listen to our hearts?’ Maybe we could do that very straightforwardly and try to convert heartbeats into music. We recorded with an ECG and turned those electro-cardiographs or electrical activity into notes. We recorded people in hospitals who were going through a crisis. That’s what all these notes are all about. Meike Holzmann and Ian Stephens (the British composers working on the collaboration) were the makers of the music.”

3. It’s not as avant-garde as it sounds.

“We want it to be accessible to people. So they won’t be scared to come and hear it.” From the inspiration of the ECG’s, the composers have composed genuinely beautiful and touching music. They want it to reach as many people as possible with their message.

4. Two years in the making.

The final product of Heart Variations has taken two years to put together. It’s a lot of effort, combined with talented personal, that has created this showcase of both artistry and classical music. Meike Holzmann said: “We had a concert in Liverpool which was really well received. So we decided to take it a step further and explore more.” They are positively itching.

5. Giving back to the community

Heart Variations has visited schools or colleges in each part of the country where the tour is based. Here, they visited music students at Runshaw College. Meike said: “We had students listen to their brainwaves and make their own compositions, which is part of this Young Composers Competition.” On the night, The Liverpool String Quartet will perform the finalists’ piece and the audience will participate and vote for their favourite. That could be a dream come true for young composers. The areas where the tour has decided to come is a list of the areas on the Arts Council’s least engaged with the art. That might not sound like the most engaging business model for a tour of the arts, but it’s a wonderfully commendable idea that deserves all our attention.

Tickets for Heart Variations are only £11.25 for adults and £10.25 for children, with discounts available for families and groups. Get yours for this rare night of interactive and innovative music here.



Heart Variations visit Unity College


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