This project is support by the Arts Council of Ireland.
In 2021, Crash Ensemble asked me to develop a way to tour composer & guitarist Barry O’Halpin’s incredible new work Wingform. We liked the idea of this being able to exist in spaces the ensemble couldn’t, to play for durations that they couldn’t, but to also make clear, somehow, that the music ensemble is present.
The project took the form of a mixed media installation comrised of fine, hand-crafted instruments of sound and light.
While I love the evolved refined aesthetics of a classical ensemble - the formal black dress, the perfect acoustic wooden forms, the sheet music - I’ve never liked the presence of modern, utilitarian stage equipment like monitors, mic stands and stage-lighting lanterns. These object weren’t designed to be beautiful, they were designed to disappear. Unfortunately, they only dissappear in drak, matte-black-painted, haze filled auditoriums.
I was curious to see what would happen if not only these fixtures were designed to be beautiful, but if they were the only objects in a music performance. Not only could you look at them, you have to look at them.
Wooden light-boxes, and low-resolution LED video panels display light and video-art that I designed specifically for Wingform. The music itself is played though a custom-made cylindrical floor-speaker that presents the sound from the low angle associated with many instruments like the cello and guitar.
Some photos below, and the project’s microsite has more information and details of the tour dates etc.