Hello Caught By the River,
I thought you might be interested in some of the work that will be on show at SNAP at the Aldeburgh Festival this year. SNAP is the contemporary art component of the Festival and as part of Aldeburgh Music’s year-long celebration of Benjamin Britten’s centenary, SNAP has invited seventeen artists to contribute new work that responds to aspects of the composer’s life and work.
Many of the works involve sound and a few in particular I think would be of interest to Caught by the River and your readers.
~ Abigail Lane has translated a selection of Britten songs into the birdsong of several local British birds. “Underneath the Abject Willow” will be played through speakers hidden in a willow tree
~ Emily Richardson’s film “Rising 5th” relates to the story of architect H.T. ‘Jim’ Cadbury-Brown’s proposed memorial to Benjamin Britten on Aldeburgh Beach. It was to be a huge hulk of wood on Aldeburgh Beach with two holes designed to sing the two notes of Peter Grimes when the wind blew through them fiercely enough. The sound of the memorial will be re-imagined in an installation at the Aldeburgh Beach South Lookout Tower.
~ Benedict Drew re-imagines the local repercussions of a groundbreaking Music Concrete concert at the 1954 Aldeburgh Festival.
SNAP 2013, Art at the Aldeburgh Festival, 8-30 June
Snape Maltings, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1SP
Open daily 9th-30th June, 12 noon- 5pm or start of the evening performance. (Exhibition closed 24th and 25th June)
Open Day: 8th June, 1-4pm
SNAP is organised by Abigail Lane in association with Aldeburgh Music.
SNAP 2013 exhibition:
Artists have been invited to respond to the brief Inspired by Britten as part of the year-long celebration of Benjamin Britten’s centenary. Britten co-founded the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948.
This year’s exhibition will permeate the fabric of Snape Maltings and the Aldeburgh Festival more deeply than ever, occupying its interior, exterior and ephemeral spaces with some direct, and some more oblique responses to the composer’s life and work. Many of the works will include sound and the exhibition will also encompass film, audio, sculpture, photography, painting and performance.
SNAP the discussion:
The panel discussion this year is led by writer and critic Jonathan P Watts and will address the theme Art Inspired by Britten. Panel members include Ryan Gander. The discussion will take place on Friday 21 June at 5.30pm and booking is necessary (Box office 01728 687110).
A fringe exhibition, organised by art students from University Campus Suffolk (UCS), will take place at Abbey Farm Barn opposite Snape Maltings to coincide with this year’s SNAP exhibition. Participants, following the lead of SNAP, will present works that have used Benjamin Britten as a touchstone.
SNAP 2013 works in show:
New drawings will be shown in the Concert Hall Gallery.
Night Mail, 2013
Painted stone sculptural work
Sculpture installation inspired by the Royal Mail public information film, Night Mail for which Britten wrote the score. Objects carved in stone and painted will be installed inside a set-like room built within the Pond Gallery.
Projected video film
A projected video film that re-imagines the local repercussions of a groundbreaking Music Concrete concert at the 1954 Aldeburgh Festival. Filming will include footage from Aldeburgh and the surrounding countryside.
Aleatoric Variations on a Theme by Purcell, 2013
Audio installation piece based on the notes of Purcell’s Rondeau – the music Britten used for The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra.
Musical Box, 2013
A second audio work
Fragments of Britten’s recorded speech will be interspersed with Eno’s musical composition and BT recordings. It will be heard through the handset inside the public telephone box, formerly used as the box office link at the Maltings.
Milk and Music (Sally In Our Alley), 2013
Sculptural elements: steel, rope, milk cartons, fish tins and milk.
The performance on the Hepworth Lawn in collaboration with Sarah Lucas will be accompanied by the soundtrack of the Britten folksong – Sally In Our Alley. The performance will take place on Saturday 8th and Saturday 22nd June. The props will be left in situ for the duration of the SNAP exhibition.
Encompassed by one Telling, 2013
Painted portraits of Benjamin Britten holding his conductor’s baton. The paintings on canvas are discarded and the palettes used to create them are displayed on the wall instead. The palettes are circles of mirrored glass, 40 cm in diameter. The palettes can be viewed as abstract portraits of the composer. To be hung as an installation in the main concert hall foyer.
I’m not Magnificent, 2013
Tweeted information, screen monitors
Tweets received from Britten’s conductor’s baton @BBsBaton to be received throughout the exhibition. The Twitter feed will be publicly available to view online and also displayed live on monitors in the exhibition space.
War Requiem, 2013
Installation with audio and paintings
An installation of paintings hung in claustrophobic style in the Dovecote space. The paintings of victims and battlefields are her own response to the horror, destruction and futility of war, inspired by Britten’s War Requiem that will be played continuously.
2013 Pasted paper onto billboard
A billboard work depicting a musical score. It makes reference to a Royal Bank of Scotland television advertis- ment that used Britten’s Playful Pizzicato.
Underneath the Abject Willow, 2013
Installation: audio, painted wood, willow tree. Poster: printed matter
An outdoor site specific work. Speakers hidden in the canopy of the willow tree at Snape Maltings will play a continuous performance by an orchestra of British birds of some of Britten’s songs, including Underneath the Abject Willow. Cube seating underneath the tree painted in the pink gloss that Gary Hume uses for his paintings of birds. A satellite cube from which individual bird calls sound, will be positioned at varying indoor locations. There will be a poster in the Aldeburgh Festival programme book.
Coated aluminium, posts
A configuration of large road signs set onto posts looking out over the landscape. The road signs depict gates and a cow. The work engages with the idea of Britten’s utilitarian commissions and Englishness.
Eros and Priapus, 2013 White cast concrete
Two large phallic casts. The works will be positioned amongst the existing stored materials and machinery within a derelict space at the Maltings so that all are encompassed by the installation. Eros is an enlarged version of an earlier small Penetralia work.
Big Marrow BB, Big Marrow PP. Two large concrete marrows will also be shown on the Hepworth Lawn.
Rising 5th (re-staging of a test for an unrealized memorial to Benjamin Britten), 2013
Video, audio and paper leaflet
The film relates to the story of the architect H.T. ‘Jim’ Cadbury-Brown’s proposed memorial to Benjamin Britten on Aldeburgh Beach and re-creates a sound experiment. A related sound installation will be sited at the Aldeburgh Beach South Lookout.
Audio work to be played live on the first Open Day and as a recording throughout the show thereafter in a space shared by Sarah Lucas’s sculptures. Utilising Fast Fourier Transform analysis [FFT], fundamental and partial frequencies have been extracted from existing recorded Britten performances to provide a reverse-engineered musical score. The new compositions will be played through electronic instruments made by the artist.
William Eggleston listening to Tchaikovsky, Memphis 2010
Pasted paper on billboard
Situated outdoors on external wall of the Concert Hall, which becomes a pertinent location for the figure enrap- tured by the music he is hearing – but that we are not.
Fragments of text and phrases excavated from Britten’s correspondence and influences will be reproduced as bookmarks inserted at random into the Aldeburgh Festival Books and reprinted on till receipts.
Cerith Wyn Evans
340.29m/s (The Speed of Sound [approx.] at Sea Level), 2013
White neon; Poster: printed matter
A radio station local to Snape will be instructed by Cerith to transmit a Britten work, The Spacious Firmament on High, for a specified duration. Documentary evidence of the transmission will be printed. A neon sign depicting the speed at which sound travels at sea level will also be shown in the main concert hall.