Invitation to Wander (2019) invites you to wander and explore four of the world’s most fascinating and remote environments: The Arctic, Amazon, Australian Outback and Deserts. Cork based composer, Karen Power has spent time in these unique, pristine and geographically extraneous environments and making specialised field recordings; intrinsic to Karen Power’s compositional process: hearing how unique and in-human environments behave. These specialised field recordings are made with a selection of directional and omni microphones; specially designed quadrophonic for mapping of space; parabolic dish; hydrophones; bat sonar detector; electric microphones, etc).
Karen has recorded particular sounds from these environments to work with, which are altered, enhanced and tinted through her own creative process and the instrumentation of Quiet Music Ensemble, the vocal improvisations and syllabic text of Ute Wassermann and Michelle O’Rourke, and a *Sound Choir.
The performance is a four roomed, mixed media durational performance with audiences navigated through darkened, choreographed sonic chambers, which are interspersed with photography and moving imagery: all imagery abstractedly relating to the four geographic environments and existing only momentarily.
The work is not a literal representation of these four natural environments but is devised to heighten our awareness to sound…..such as the unfamiliar sounds of the Arctic with its vast and silent topography, while underneath the surface breaths sonic conversations between glaciers – sound symphonies of ice expanding and contracting, cracking, compacting and ancient air escaping. Or Amazonian birds each with their own unique call, distinctly audible within the cacophony of frequencies, harmonies and microtones. Or infinite layers of shifting and sliding desert sands with parched surface grains disguising wet and heavier textured strata underneath, containing microecologies for the creatures that live in darkness. Or the unique Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Australia) with its wetlands and marine park temporarily contained in profound and harsh dryness. Long, gaunt, silver trees tapering upwards and underground luminous green vegetation peering and veering; rhythmic sounds of sea waves synced to wind moving through the bare barked trees.
In these immersive rooms, the audience, musicians, vocalists and Sound Choir cumulatively listen over a 105 minutes performance. Constantly re-adjusting themselves, adapting to the space, listening as the spaces change based on what they can hear and not hear. Accordant and discordant mixing of sounds where all rooms merge into one soundscape.
Sonically the space is transformed and altered for us all irreversibly, but always remaining true to the original sonic characteristics of these extraordinary places. The performance explores the possibilities of how through hearing natural sound structures and harmonies we can potentially rediscover the evolutionary parallels between humans, nature and animals.
Where: Cork Centre for Architectural Education (entrance via Nano Nagle Place)
When: Wed 19 – Sat 22 June, 2019
Price: €15 / €12 conc
Bookings: corkmidsummer.com; 021-4215159; Festival Box Office: 5 Cook Street (opens 8 June)
Don’t miss out on wandering around Nano Nagle Place after hours! Doors open specially for all Invitation to Wander ticket holders from 6.30pm. Explore the convent garden, visit Nano’s Tomb and see buildings from the 18th to 21st century. Museum will stay open late on Fri 21 June only.
COMMISSIONED BY CORK MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL AND PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH CORK CENTRE FOR ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION, NANO NAGLE PLACE & CORK INTERNATIONAL CHORAL FESTIVAL
Quiet Music Ensemble: John Godfrey, Roddy O’Keefe, Dan Bodwell, Sean Mac Erlaine & Isle de Ziah
Sound Choir: Katie O’Neill, Noelle O’Regan, Rose Roccaforte, Wendy Goodbody, Jacques de Fournas, Daithi O’Reilly, Brian Sheehan, Caroline McGrath, Elaine Howley & Aoife Spillane.
Photo credit: John Godfrey