Great Chorus

Audio installation and walk, 2011

Commissioned by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art 

This installation was commissioned by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art for ENCOUNTERS, journeys through language and landscape. The project explored our personal relationship with the environment through a series of temporary artist installations and interventions, performances and artist led walks, along a three mile route. The works investigated how open spaces can become places full of meaning and how we develop a sense of belonging in unfamiliar places.

The piece was developed by talking to visitors to Fermyn Woods and asking which song or piece of music they'd ascribe to their experience of the woods that day; in a film of your time in the woods, what would be the soundtrack? People suggested their own compositions, choral music, chill out music, jazz and 80s pop. Melodies, chords and bass lines from more than twenty pop songs and classical pieces are re-configured into a new audio composition, all recorded on a church organ. The looped composition is sometimes chaotic, sometimes complementary, the recomposed strains of other pieces of music becoming mostly unrecognisable, with only moments of familiar lines or progressions. 

"From my mossy seat in the sonic chapel my attention shifted from immersive listening to filtered viewing as the actual presence of the woods – in real time, in real weather, asserted itself intermittently. The places in which this happened – most obviously in the silent windows built into the work, but also through the shifts of complexity and volume within the music created spaces clearly designed by artist for me. It is a work composed, made and realised to fit its context and to be something satisfying musically at the same time. All this is something quite hard to pull off and needs an understanding of different languages this delicate work manages to balance with real finesse."  Graeme Miller, also commissioned for the ENCOUNTERS exhibition wrote a response to the installation. To read the rest of Graeme's response, click here.