To celebrate the opening of the Howard Assembly Room in 2009, Opera North commissioned United Visual Artists to create a site specific response to the newly restored performance space.
Chorus is a kinetic array of giant pendulums of light and sound, suspended from the ceiling.
The concept arose from the search for a simple and unifying relationship between light and opera. The kinetic movement of light and sound invites people to move through the space and be immersed in the experience. Each repeated performance has subtle rhythmical variations, with no two performances the same. Each pendulum has a unique score, an individual ‘voice’ which can be heard when moving through the paths of light, together forming a duet of light and sound.
The sound is created by Mira Calix, working with members of the Opera North Company, recording them as individuals, composing them as a chorus. Through its hypnotic rhythms, Chorus invites us to focus our senses and to dissect the sources of the score and the movement within.
United Visual Artists (UVA) are an art and design practice based in London, creating work that lies at the intersections of sculpture, architecture, live performance and installation. United Visual Artists have been commissioned by Artwise Curators, The Creators Project, La Gaite Lyrique, National Maritime Museum, Opera North, Royal Academy of Arts, Victoria & Albert Museum and YCAM Japan. In 2011, they redesigned the Coachella main stage as both a platform for performance and a standalone light and sound sculpture with experimental music provided by fellow Creator Mira Calix.
Mira Calix is an award winning composer, producer and performer based in the UK, challenging musical conventions and crossing genre boundaries. Mira has been commissioned to write new works for many established music and art institutions; the London Sinfonietta, Bang On A Can, the Aldeburgh Festival and the Royal Shakespeare Company, to name but a few.
“Like watching Martians invading Earth, in a 50’s B-movie set in a church…Rocking!” Audience member
Howard Assembly Room, Leeds
Lumiere festival, Durham Cathedral
The Wapping Project, London
16 Jun – 18 Jul 2010
Chorus is available on request for festivals and special events.
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