Ever wanted to see a one-year timelapse of a decomposing violin? Here’s your chance! Composer Sven Helbig’s video for his track Metamorphosis features a violin slowly becoming engulfed by a Reishi mushroom - known in traditional Eastern medicine as ’mushroom of immortality’ and consumed for its health benefits.

The violin is consumed by the funghi, with the remains eventually harvested to be consumed as a tea. The piece interrogates the value bestowed on the violin, an icon possessing complex classical traditions, challenging the viewer to think about its merits not as untouchable, but as soil for tomorrow’s achievements. It prompts Helbig to pose the question: ’Why shouldn’t the violin be fed to the mushroom if we can derive more benefit from the funghi than from classical music today?’ 

The music is performed by the Mondëna Quartet, with Anne Grethen, Jörg Brückner, Robinson Wappler on horns and Tom Götze on tuba. 

Sven Helbig will be performing with the London Contemporary Orchestra on 27 April at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre in London. For more information, click here