Memory & Light

For London Design Festival 2018, composer Arvo Pärt and Arup present “Memory & Light”, curated by Clare Farrow, in the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room: a unique meeting of music and design, inspired by Arvo Pärt’s words.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Saturday, 15 – Sunday, 23 September 2018

  • British Galleries, Room 52b

  • Free event

Memory & Light photo

This installation – a rare collaboration – was specially conceived for the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room and was inspired by Arvo Pärt’s famous words: “I could compare my music to white light, which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.”

Born in Estonia in September 1935, Arvo Pärt is the most performed contemporary composer in the world, whose life and music represent a drive for freedom and invention, against the odds.

Curated by Clare Farrow with Eva Woode in collaboration with Arup specialists Stephen Philips (Product Design), Ned Crowe (Acoustic Design) and Ed Elbourne (Venue Design), this multi-sensory installation brings Pärt’s words to life in a meeting of design and music.

A transparent curved screen (made from Perspex® acrylic and fabricated by Talbot Designs) represents the prism in Pärt’s poetic description, alongside a luxurious viewing and listening bench (upholstered in Poltrona Frau’s leather) where visitors can sit to experience the composer’s words and his music: “Spiegel im Spiegel” (Mirror in the Mirror), “Für Alina”, “Silentium” and “Da pacem Domine”. Speakers by Harman Kardon bring the music through the bench and into every corner of the space.

Part of London Design Festival at the V&A