READY is the given name of Matthew Hawkins’ ever-evolving solo project. Blessed with viable working space during our lockdowns, Matthew trained daily and was struck anew by how much of the span of his existence has taken the form of self-devised dance practice.
Thinking to expose the essence of his observation and mindful of ways in which to reframe his habit, he then came into possession of a boxed CD set of Beethoven piano sonatas. Never having had the time before, Matthew’s dad had purchased the set to enjoy at his life’s end. The discs had, by now, rested unheard for some time, but their inheritance would fuel a fresh experience. As it happens, Beethoven’s keyboard ecology of majestic sunsets, runaway trains, tempests, farewells, dancing elephants and alert chicanery is conveyed with a sense of timing that’s vital in riveting conversation.
READY now adds a voice to the conversation, structuring its pace and its accumulation around a given sonata-sequence’s changes of tone and topic. Each of the randomly selected ten CDs has a mind of its own. Hawkins chooses whether to fully amplify the music or play it quietly to have it merge with other present noises. Variation also informs the performance’s locale – sites have included the home, the studio, a busy museum foyer and an abandoned branch of Debenhams. READY starts from a place of self-care and develops exquisitely, holding its space and time amid ideas about the nature of authorship – and perhaps fatherhood too.