Caught by the River

Taking the Waters

6th February 2012

Taking the Waters – Aldeburgh Music’s innovative cross-arts weekend: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th February 2012

press release:

Aldeburgh Music is hosting another cross-arts winter weekend, following on the success of the After Sebald weekend last year, which featured, among many others, Patti Smith.

On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th February, Aldeburgh Music is taking to the waters, in an event curated by Gareth Evans that celebrates the cultures of place across the UK and beyond. This year, the weekend navigates the artistic exploration of rivers, shorelines and the ocean in film, literature, art activism and performance.

“I’m delighted to be working with Aldeburgh Music to realise this unique weekend event,” said Curator Gareth Evans. “Snape Maltings is the perfect venue, both geographically and creatively, to realise this distinctive exploration of the waters. A remarkable assembly of innovative and imaginative artists will be presenting their striking readings of the waterways, coasts and seas that define our planet and our lives.”

On Saturday 18 February there will be a day-long enquiry into the meanings of water, with presentations by a number of acclaimed writers and performers, including Robert Macfarlane (The Wild Places) on the much missed and loved Suffolk-based author Roger Deakin, followed by a staged reading of Deakin’s Waterlog by tenor Mark Padmore and actor Stephen Dillane. A presentation by Jay Griffiths will incarnate the sea and its mysteries, while the country’s Eastern Coast will be charted by writers Jules Pretty and Ken Worpole, alongside the photography of Jason Orton. Meanwhile, the internationally influential critic and film-maker Noel Burch will also be introducing the UK theatrical premiere screening of his important documentary essay film, The Forgotten Space (co-directed with photographer Allan Sekula), which follows the high seas global supply chain our consumer lives so depend on.

The evening of Saturday 18 February sees the multi-media, work-in-progress premiere presentation of Swandown, a remarkable feature-length film collaboration between film-maker Andrew Kötting (Gallivant) and visionary writer Iain Sinclair. Taking a Swan Pedalo from Hastings beach to Hackney’s Olympic site via the South Coast, the inland waterways of Kent and the Thames estuary, the duo make a suitably English voyage into the heart of place and politics. With soundscapes from musician and artist Jem Finer (Longplayer) with Kirsten Norrie, and the startling pinhole photography of rising star Anonymous Bosch, this is an event not to be missed.

Taking the Waters continues on Sunday 19 February with a showing of the late Derek Jarman’s iconic shoreline feature The Garden, to celebrate what would have been the late, great artist and film-maker’s 70th birthday (on 31 January). The event concludes with distinctive presentations from artists Ben Eastop, Rachel Lichtenstein, Manu Luksch and Simon Read, all of whom have worked in striking and innovative ways with water as a location, a source of meaning and a site through which to imagine the futures of community and belonging.

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