AboutSarah Strang | Dixon Clark Court Symphony
Created by Union Chapel Artist in Residence Sarah Strang
Live Performance Thursday 21st June 2012, Doors 7pm
By the London Contemporary Orchestra
Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, London N1 2XD
Union Chapel is delighted to announce the premiere of the Dixon Clark Court Symphony, a sound installation created by Artist in Residence, Sarah Strang, in collaboration with over fifty local residents at Dixon Clark Court (DCC) in Islington. The symphony questions connections between belonging and loneliness within communities in acoustic form.
The DCC Symphony comprises over 165 sounds identified, collected and curated from the neighbouring Islington towers of DCC, a mixed use tower block, and Union Chapel, a working Congregational church, in response to the following questions raised by the artist:
What sounds make you feel like you belong?
What sounds make you feel lonely?
What sounds do you want to hear?
Over 150 responses were collected from residents at DCC and church members, staff and visitors of Union Chapel. The DCC Symphony presents a live and recorded soundscape conceived and arranged by Sarah Strang, composed by Nathaniel Robin Mann and Daniel Merrill, performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra. Hidden within the organ pipes and the octagonal roof of Union Chapel, percussion elements include traditional instruments and also found objects, including a steel door and a broken wooden cot. Violins and flutes create both gentle and discordant moments, inviting the viewer to listen and wander between the sounds of life, memory and imagination.
Becky is connected to the lift opening and her door unlocking to reveal the thudding sound of the washing machine. Aziz feels alone and despair in his flat, woken at night by the water pump next to his bedroom. Sue is welcomed in the morning by pigeons and the organ being tuned. Emma has an attachment to the entry buzzer, a sound like police and ambulance sirens that provoke an ambivalent response. The sound of children in the playground next to DCC and Union Chapel inspires familiarity and yet sadness at the loss of familial connections.
The DCC Symphony seeks to articulate in sound how individuals or communities may respond to, or articulate, loneliness and belonging. Research into the breakdown of social cohesion remains a key political concern. Solutions are seemingly elusive and answers are as ungraspable as soundwaves in the air.
For the live performance, the audience will be seated centrally in the auditorium of Union Chapel, to listen to the montage of a recorded soundscape and live orchestral score. The symphony's narrative is undulating, diffused and constantly shifting in states of time and being, where the notion of community, mercurial yet utopian, is questioned. Everyday life is invested with mystery and meaning.
Supported by Union Chapel, Patrons of Union Chapel, Artist in Residence, Congregational Federation and Heritage Lottery Fund. Charitable Partner, Islington Giving