Blogging about some of the things happening at Wysing, or influencing what happens at Wysing.
Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco 6 December 2012
So, it's been snowing and a hard frost has set in. The wind is bitter and the sky pale grey and feeling very low. Full of more snow. Thankfully, I'm in my cosy office watching Peregrines fight off Crow attacks in the field opposite, gangs of Redwings and the occasional Jay scoffing the last of the berries, and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers shinning up tree trunks. It's been lovely driving to work when the frost is at its hardest and the light clearest. My car cd player is out of action so I've had to resort to tuning my radio to find something not totally annoying to listen to, which usually means Radio 4. But random tuning can provide moments of surprise, or maybe serendipity. I caught Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980) a piece composed for eight-track tape by the modernist composer Jonathan Harvey who sadly passed away earlier this week, on my drive in this morning. Nothing could have been more in tune with the landscape at that particular moment. Icy.
More Radio 18 September 2012
As mentioned in my last blog entry, 2EmmaToc is a radio broadcast that has been coming out of an amazing temporary structure in the grounds of Writtle College over the past week; a collaboration between artist Melissa Appleton and architectural practice Post-Works. 2EmmaToc is name of the original radio station which broadcast live performances every Tuesday evening from an army hut near Writtle village in 1922. I’ve been listening online in the evenings – tonight is the last broadcast, from 6-7.30pm - and went down there for the live event at the weekend. I really do love radio; the idea of someone sending information out into the ether not knowing who, or if anyone, is picking it up is really quite a magical thing. The programmes I have caught, online unfortunately as I’m too far to pick it up on analogue, have related to ideas of time and space – connecting people from different parts of the world, referencing other worlds, the stars and solar system, and bringing to life the past history of the area. It was good to go down and see it all happening on Saturday – the structure incorporates both a radio booth and a performance stage. The stage had a completely brilliant sound system, courtesy of The Professor! The performances were all really great – Kevin Atherton’s clever performance/conversation with a broadcast of his younger self, and I was pleased to see Heather Phillipson’s new work Pressurized which I missed at the Whitechapel last week. Edwin Burdis did the most amazing live set, songs with accompanying projected images, which mostly took us into outer space though there was a surreal, and memorable, moment when he appeared to be blowing into a long scaffolding pole which at its far end had the circular projection of possiblty an udder (?) I went with my two children and they sat transfixed throughout this work which they both thought was ‘amazing’. It was a lovely evening too; sitting on bales of hay, huddled under blankets and drinking hot chocolate whilst the sun went down, geese flew overhead and amazing things happened right in front of us.
Writtle Calling 14 September 2012
2EmmaToc is a radio station that has been broadcasting over the past week from this amazing structure near Chelmsford in Essex. Aiming to get down there for some events tomorrow evening. Full programme details www.writtlecalling.co.uk
Radio Music 10 September 2012
Well, I’ve been at Wysing for seven years and in all that time have never taken part in the public performance of an artwork. I’ve had the opportunity, many times, but preferred to stay in the background. I decided though to take part in the re-staging of John Cage’s Radio Music (1956) with seven other people, and at the invitation of Philomene Pirecki, at our festival last week. I was intrigued by the score which the first time I took a look at seemed totally impenetrable – a list of apparently random FM frequencies. Then, when we had a rehearsal I realised how the whole score, for eight players, had been constructed so that the frequencies and notated silences could potentially collide with one another. I enjoyed the rehearsal better than the public performance because in the empty and atmospheric space of Amphis I could hear my score (Part D) tune in with the others; words and sounds overlapping and playing off each other. It was a lovely thing to have done.
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