Monday January 26, 2015
During the Summer, The Friends of King’s Gardens were invited to work with schools and community groups located along the Sefton coastline culminating in the composition of a single piece of contemporary music, in partnership with The Atkinson.
The project included four groups including; children and young people from a primary and a secondary school, and an older persons’ group living with dementia and Friends of King’s Gardens.
Each group was tasked to explore a part of the coast that is local to them and digitally record the sounds they experience, whilst the Friends of King’s Gardens utilized the heritage of the coast, as King’s Gardens used to be the beach.
This included bird species within their natural habitats such as wading birds on the Alt or Ribble estuaries, or capturing more industrial sounds from Seaforth and Bootle docks.
The groups worked alongside a ranger when visiting the coast in order to guide and educate the groups about the coast’s natural and cultural heritage.
Recordings of sounds on the coast informed the inspiration for a piece of music that would take the listener on a musical journey of the coast from Bootle to Southport, “the Chorus of the Coast”.
The appointed composer, Eve Harrison delivered workshops with each of the groups to compose music such as bird motifs (recurring musical idea such as a bird call) that would feed into the piece as a whole. Eve would then arrange this to form one, multi-layered piece of music to be performed at the Atkinson.
The aim of the project was to portray the human perspective of the natural world by drawing on human interaction with the surrounding environment. The sea was represented by an ‘ostinato’ (a phrase that persistently repeats). This would underpin the work throughout to portray an element of unity of the waves and tide. Motifs emulating the sounds of the natural environment were successively layered in a collage effect to provide an aural representation of wandering through the changing landscape.
In November 2014, project culminated in a concert that was performed to the general public at the Atkinson conveying an overarching message that local people should value and seek to conserve their unique and irreplaceable environment. The piece was performed by some of the groups involved in the project alongside and supported by professional musicians.
Click here for the performance and more information!