Tag: Sound UK

Twelve on twelve!

A look, courtesy of my daughter, at Sarah Nicolls’s 12 Years project.

Again, this is not about dogs, well not in a direct way. But, indirectly, it affects all of us, young and old, and, inevitably, it affects our dear dogs.

I’m writing this in response to something that came my way as an email sent from my daughter’s company, SOUND UK. The company holds to the view that: Sound UK produces extraordinary musical encounters for all.

Sarah Nicolls has her own website and on her About page this is what she presents.

My name is Sarah Nicolls. I am a visual artist who makes pictures with language, books with pictures, prints with type, and animations with words. I combine image, visual narrative, and time in prints, books, and ephemera that are often research-based. I am interested in urbanization, local history, climate change, the history of science and technology, alternative economies, found language, and the history of publishing. I have written a collection of self-help aphorisms, I publish a series of informational pamphlets, and I organize a range of participatory walks and programs around the series.

My recent books include an examination of the history of greenhouses, and a study of the stories we tell ourselves about disappearing islands, both real and imagined. My  limited edition artist books are in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Stanford, UCLA, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.

For twelve years, I ran the studio programs at the Center for Book Arts in NYC, organizing classes, public programs, readings, and talks, coordinating publications, running residency programs, and teaching interns. I learned everything I know about letterpress and bookmaking while I was there. Now I teach at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design, and work on a variety of projects.

I also do illustration and design work for individuals and institutions. Do you have an interesting project in mind? Contact me here, I welcome commissions and collaborations.

Well back to Sound UK. This is Sarah.

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“What she does should be happening every week of the year” The Guardian

Acclaimed pianist and composer Sarah Nicolls’ new Inside-Out Piano project 12 Years was inspired by the 2018 IPCC Special Report saying we had just 12 years to radically change our behaviour to save the planet. Starting on the second anniversary of the report, 8 October, Sarah launches 12 nights of online performances.

With her striking vertical grand piano, Nicolls combines original music and recorded speech in an absorbing performance. Piano melodies and textures interweave with phone calls between three fictional characters challenging each other to either worry less or do more. We hear from environmental experts, survivors escaping from a wildfire and a glacier melting, eloquent speeches from Greta Thunberg and finally the sound of hope emerging. There is humour and humanity as well as time for reflection.

On selected nights leading climate scientists will also join Sarah for exclusive post-show discussions online, specifically to talk about what we can all do.

See list of speakers below.

“This should be prescribed viewing/watching/listening for anyone even remotely concerned with the welfare of our planet.” Ciaran Ryan, Galway Jazz Festival

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Plus, if you would care to listen to a track on Sarah playing her piano, then feel free:

I’m bound to say that I am reasonably hopeful of living another twelve years but, at the same time, reasonably expectant that life could become very interesting indeed!

To England and France, Part Two.

Fun days with my daughter’s family!

We had arrived in England, via Gatwick airport, yesterday, as in Monday the 9th April, and were staying with Maija and family until Friday when Jean and I travelled up to London to meet my sister Eleanor.

So these three days were to be spent doing as many fun things as we could; it being the Easter school holiday week so Morten was at home each day.

Thus today’s post is a fairly quick run through of all the things that we did.

First thing on Tuesday morning was to see how adept young Morten was in riding his bike.

Thankfully it was dry but still overcast. The forecast was for the weather to improve over the coming days. But whatever the weather we were not going to let it get in the way.

Maija mentioned that Wakehurst, part of Kew Royal Botanical Gardens was close by and we readily agreed to go there. As the Kew website explains:

Our wild botanic garden on the High Weald of West Sussex has over 500 acres of beautiful ornamental gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve. Wakehurst is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild seed conservation project in the world.

Morten got it into his head to ‘dress up’!

He is a very lively young man!

Wakehurst was a very tranquil place.

 

 

 

 

 

As well as the beautiful grounds it was possible to buy plants.

Slowly the weather improved.

In the blink of an eye it was Wednesday and the plan that day was a visit to the Bluebell Railway. As the website offers:

The volunteer-run Bluebell Line was the UK’s first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, re-opening part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1960. Since then it has developed into one of the largest tourist attractions in Sussex, yet it still remains true to its objectives of the preservation for posterity of a country branch line, its steam locomotives, coaches and goods stock, signalling systems, stations and operating practices.

One’s never too old to go on a steam railway!

Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex

As the above photograph shows it was another day of intermittent rain and low clouds.

But did that stop four people having a fun time???

A ‘self-pic’ of four happy faces aboard the Bluebell train.

On the Thursday, the 12th, Maija had an engagement in London in connection with her company, SOUND UK, and Jeannie and I were in charge of Morten for the day.

Well I think that was the arrangement although Morten woke up with very clear ideas as to how the day was to be spent. Primarily walking into Lindfield village so he could show Jean and me all the places of note!

Lindfield is the classic English village complete with cricket field, village pond and a pub or two. As Wikipedia offers:

The village stands on high ground above the upper reaches of the River Ouse. It is situated close to both the natural beauty of the High Weald and to Haywards Heath with its amenities and station on the main London-Brighton railway line.

Lindfield has a rich historic and architectural heritage. The ancient High Street, lined with lime trees, has over forty medieval and post medieval timber-framed houses, with many individual shops. At the bottom of the High Street is a natural spring-fed pond with fish, ducks, and herons. Beyond lies the Common which, over the centuries, has witnessed many events – fairs, festivals, bonfire celebrations and sporting activities; cricket has been played there since 1747. Today, it is still central to village celebrations and leisure activities. In addition to the Common there is Pickers’ Green, providing pitches for cricket, football, stoolball and a children’s play area.

History

The High Street follows an ancient north-south track that has existed for thousands of years, long before the Romans built a major road, the London to Brighton Way, a mile to the west of the village.

Lindfield first appeared as Lindefeldia, ‘open land with lime trees’, in a Saxon charter of 765 AD, in which King Ealdwulf granted lands for the building of a Minster church. When the Domesday Book was compiled the lands were held by the Archbishop of Canterbury.[4]

King Edward III recognised the importance of medieval Lindfield and in 1343 granted the town a royal charter to hold a market every Thursday and two annual eight-day fairs. For centuries the fairs continued each April and August with the summer fair becoming one of the largest sheep sales in Sussex.[5]

Lindfield was once part of the thriving Wealden iron industry. As early as 1539, William Levett of Buxted, a county curate with a thriving sideline in iron and armaments, was recorded as extracting iron ore at Lindfield. Later the Henslowe family of Lindfield were actively engaged in the iron milling business in association with Ralph Hogge, parson Levett’s former servant and later a major ironmaster in his own right.

In 1841 the London-Brighton railway opened, passing to the west of the parish with a ‘Station for Cuckfield and Lindfield Towns’ on open land that was to become the town of Haywards Heath. The construction of the Ouse Valley branch line reached Lindfield in 1866 with a proposed station to the north of All Saints’ Church but the line was abandoned for financial reasons.

Charles Eamer Kempe, a leading church stained glass designer and manufacturer lived at Lindfield until his death in 1907. Kempe renovated and redecorated an Elizabethan manor house near the village which he renamed Old Place,[6] from where he entertained clients and professional partners. Internally the house was appointed to the highest standard of Victorian splendour. After his death in the 1930s, the house was partitioned into six individual residences, with the main reception rooms forming part of the new “East Wing”.[7]

Lindfield also had a children’s play area which is where I snapped this photograph of Morten on that Thursday.

Then before we knew it the morning of Friday, 13th was upon us and it was time to catch the train up to London.

However these days with Morten had put in place a precious bond that was one of the primary reasons for us coming to England.

In tomorrow’s post I offer the experiences of meeting Eleanor, Richard and my son Alex.

Extraordinary music for everyone!

Sound UK produces extraordinary musical encounters for all

That sub-heading is the banner statement you will read if you go across to the Sound UK website. You may recall that I featured Sound UK in a post last June under the title of Sonic Journeys. I also presented the fact that my daughter is one of two directors of Sound UK. As in:

Sound UK is run by Directors Polly Eldridge and Maija Handover. We work alongside a crack team of freelancers and consultants across production, marketing, design, participation and fundraising. These include Tim Hand (production), Becky Morris Knight at Shipshape Marketing (digital marketing), Beth Fouracre (participation), John Gilsenan at IWant (design), Sarah Coop (fundraising) plus many more.

The reason I am featuring Sound UK again is because I wanted to share with you an exciting new project. I am republishing this from the Sound UK site.

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Tom Phillips – Irma: an opera

Sound UK is a music charity developing a major new project to mark the 80th birthday of one of Britain’s most treasured artists

We need your support to produce the first multimedia production of Royal Academy artist Tom Phillips’ Irma: an opera at South London Gallery this September. An exquisite miniature opera and audio visual installation, Irma is drawn from his masterpiece A Humument, which he recently completed after 50 years. This unique production celebrates Phillips’ extraordinary output in art and music.

Tom Phillips RA: Phillips has had major exhibitions in national galleries, painted figures such as John Gielgud and Iris Murdoch and created works for the Imperial War Museum, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. His work can also be seen on the streets of Peckham where he has lived and worked for most of his life. You may even own one of his artworks; the Benjamin Britten 50p piece.

Tom Phillips in his Peckham studio

In the 1960s, Phillips was at the centre of the vibrant art school scene where music and art collided.  He brought over key composers of that era to the UK – Morten Feldman, John Cage, performed with Cornelius Cardew – and even taught Brian Eno, who he introduced to ideas that had a great influence on Eno’s music.  This landmark event recognises Phillips’ work as a composer and wider influence on the world of music.

Excerpt from Irma: an opera full score 2014

The Creative team: Sound UK is working with one of the UK’s most gifted opera designer / directors Netia Jones and her company Lightmap, with music director Anton Lukoszevieze and his leading ensemble Apartment House.

“Netia Jones is the most imaginative director of opera working in Britain today” The Observer

“One of the most innovative and exciting chamber ensembles in Europe” Royal Philharmonic Society on Apartment House

We need YOU to be part of Irma!

We have already raised the majority of our funding with the generous support of Arts Council England and Hinrichsen Foundation. We are also grateful for major in kind support from South London Gallery, where Phillips first showed his work as a student.

YOU can play a key role in Phillips’ new artwork. We need to raise £5,000 to help pay for rehearsals and the creation of the video for this extraordinary artwork.

To thank you for your invaluable support, we have put together a selection of unique rewards based on Irma characters – view by scrolling up on the right of this page – including an exclusive limited edition print created by Tom Phillips and mementos of his work.

Please visit our website for more information on Irma
www.sounduk.net/events/tom-phillips/

Image of Tom Phillips limited edition print – Irma: Our Lamplit History

Paper size h:28.4cm x w:21cm
Limited edition of 50

A unique print created by Tom Phillips in support of the world premiere full version of his opera Irma, at South London Gallery, September 2017, directed / designed by Netia Jones, musical direction Anton Lukoszevieze, performed by Apartment House with video by Lightmap.

Digital print with silkscreen 2017
All prints are sent signed and numbered by the artist.

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 If anyone is so moved to participate in this ‘crowdfunding’ project then the donation details may be seen here: https://payment.crowdfunder.co.uk/reward/246262

Sonic Journeys

Innovation – Pure and Simple.

Note: Let me declare immediately that I have a personal interest in this post. Namely that my daughter, Maija Handover, is a partner of the charitable company SOUND UK. Their most recent sound adventure is extremely interesting.

It is called Sonic Journeys and, as the home page of the website explains:

Sonic Journeys are soundtracks to specific journeys. Each commissioned piece is available as a free download for limited periods, enabling listeners to experience the music travelling through the landscape that inspired it. Or wherever they choose.

There are a number of Commissioned Journeys but one is also able to create personal sound journeys.

Let me allow Sonic Journeys to explain in their words what it is about:

Sonic Journeys is a series of soundtracks to specific journeys. The series commissions artists to create new works in response to journeys that inspire them. These works are recorded and available for free download for a limited period, enabling listeners to experience the music travelling through the landscape that inspired it. Previous commissions include Adrian Utley from Portishead (2012, a walk through ancient trees at National Trust’s Croft Castle & Parkland), Mica Levi (2011, a walk at Barbican Centre), Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold (2011, two train journeys in Devon), Will Gregory from Goldfrapp (2009, a walk in Malvern Hills for Big Chill festival).

For those that would like to create and share their own Sonic Journey, we are inviting online submissions of music, or music and video, to journeys the public find personally inspiring here. Previous Your Sonic Journeys have included music to journeys in Kew Gardens in London, Bregenz in Austria, South Western Transylvania and more.

Here’s an example of one of those commissioned journeys, from my old home county of Devon. It is called Shackleton + Vengeance Tenfold – South Devon, stopping train from Starcross → Teignmouth and the Field Notes explain:

Unique British bass producer Shackleton collaborated with his original musical partner, spoken word artist Vengeance Tenfold, to present his own distinctive vision of a journey through some very special parts of Devon; the main railway line between Exeter and Totnes, and part of the Tarka railway line between Exeter and Barnstaple.

Travelling from Exeter to Newton Abbot, in South Devon the artists respond to the iconic stretch of railway as the stopping train travels through the Exe estuary from Starcross station and journeys along the sea and wonderfully dramatic scenery.

Earl Fontainelle a.k.a. Vengeance Tenfold lives on Dartmoor in Devon. He plays in the Amsterdam-based Cajun deathcountry band Earl Fontainelle and the Pearl of Great Price and has worked in many other musical and lyrical projects, including a long-term collaborative relationship with Shackleton with whom he worked together on a live performance alongside the Tom Dale Dance Company involving spoken word, live electronic music, a Siberian Jew’s harp, and a lantern.

This link will allow you to listen to the Sonic Journey. To give those unfamiliar with this part of Devon, South-West England here’s a video of that train journey.

Published on Sep 17, 2013

Here I have some footage of a famous scenic coastal main line railway route that runs from Teignmouth via Dawlish to Starcross in South Devon. It is used by both long distance and local train services currently operated by First Great Western and Cross Country that runs from Cornwall and Plymouth to all points north and east.

I know I’m biased but it still strikes me as one incredibly innovative idea! Well done, the team!