Beethoven at Night

Video and music performance with Paul Lay (piano) and images by Olivier Garouste (video-maker)

I like to associate Beethoven’s music to night. Its enchanting power, its mystery, a specific thrill. I love listening to his music in the dark, maybe because his music is so luminous. To a jazz musician, night-time is favorable for imagination wandering which nourishes improvisation and creativity. I love composing at night. The challenge of this project is to perform on the piano the encounter between Beethoven and jazz, while Olivier Garouste’s poetic images simultaneaously celebrate the great Ludwig Paul Lay 

The jazz pianist Paul Lay takes another look at Beethoven’s most beautiful works improvising on the composer’s themes with Olivier Garouste’s poetic images in the background. Paul develops new forms on the piano from fragments of bagatelles, piano sonatas (Moonlight, Appassionata, Waldstein), lieders, quartets and symphonies, while preserving the composer’s spirit : rhythm, haunting melodies, breaks, silences and above all : mystery !

Get on board this long trip through written and improvised music, merging the original score and jazz, blues and improvised music, the worlds that shape Paul Lay’s music.

At the same time, Olivier Garouste’s visual world is projected on the screen. Olivier paints the composer’s portrait with images and video. Thanks to many references and special creations, Beethoven’s tumultuous life and his many different faces come to life : the musician, the composer, the improviser, the prophet, the icon.