Liverpool String Quartet perform 'Heart Variations'

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A new collaboration between Meike Holzmann and Ian Stephens converts the human heartbeat into music

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Liverpool String Quartet perform 'Heart Variations'

The Liverpool String Quartet is touring the North West this April with a groundbreaking work that delves into the human psyche to connect music, emotion and the body in a melody created from the recordings of human heartbeats.

Heart Variations For String Quartet is a collaboration of two British composers, Meike Holzmann and Ian Stephens. Directed by Egle Mei, the project took two years to complete and was created by recording the electrical impulses of the heart and encoding them into notes.

Beginning on 11 April at St George’s Hall in Liverpool, the tour will take the work to St Helen’s, Preston, Fleetwood and Burnley.

Creative director, Egle Mei said: ‘I am very lucky to have a chance to work with talented composers in the North West. Meike Holzmann and Ian Stephens have given the most beautiful forms and colours to the encoded notes, wrapped them into a language from which any audience can find their own meaning.’

As part of the tour, talented pupils from each town of the tour were invited to take part in a Young Composers Competition, where they had to compose a short piece based on their individual brainwaves (with help from workshops earlier this year). The Liverpool String Quartet will perform the finalists’ pieces at the concert where the audience will vote for their favourite. 

Holly Harrison