Curious Sounds in Curious Spaces

FIERCEFESTIVALANDSYMPHONYHALLPRESENT A DAY OF FREEEXPLORATORYANDAUDITORYEXPERIMENTSFORADVENTUROUSEARS OF ALLAGES

SYMPHONYHALL, BIRMINGHAM
12PM – 5PM, SATURDAY 7 APRIL 2012
FREEADMISSION

-JEMFINER’S MOBILESINFONIA: A PARTICIPATIVECOMPOSITIONFORMOBILEPHONES
PICTUREANDPIANO: A SPECIALSITE-SPECIFICGRAEMEMILLERCOMMISSIONFROMSTAGE TO STREET
PHILMINTON’S FERALCHOIR: EXTRAORDINARYSOUNDSANDNOISESBEYONDTHETRADITIONALACT OF SINGING
JUNEAUPROJECTSWORKSHOP: CARDBOARDANDELECTRONICMUSICALINSTRUMENTWORKSHOPS
SOUNDKITCHEN ‘SONIC TREE: INSTALLATION OF SPEAKERSFEATURINGSERIES OF MUSIC BY LOCALARTISTS
FELIX’S MACHINES: MUSICMAKINGSCULPTURESTRANSLATINGRHYTHMINTO 3-DIMENSIONALVISUALS
– 8-BITLOUNGE: CHIP-CORETUNESANDRETROARCADEGAMES
SYMPHONYHALLUNSEEN: HIDDENAREASOPEN TO PUBLIC, INSTALLATIONS IN UNUSUALPLACES

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Curious Sounds in Curious Spaces – a day of free exploratory and auditory experiments presented by Fierce Festival in Symphony Hall as part of the venue’s 21st Anniversary Festival celebrations, will take place between 12pm and 5pm on Saturday 7 April.

On the day, which is designed to appeal to adventurous ears of all ages, visitors to the world-class concert hall can download ringtones and take part in a new composition by Jem Finer (ex-Pogues) entitled Mobile Sinfonia, experience a performance by Phil Minton’s Feral Choir, create musical instruments from materials such as electronics and cardboard with creative adventurers Juneau Projects, listen to chiptunes whilst playing vintage arcade games courtesy of the 8-Bit Lounge team and discover installations in unusual places such as by Felix Thorn’s Felix’s Machines, Graeme Miller’s Picture and Piano and Bill Leslie and Stephen Cornford’s Tuning Up.

A selection of artists including Brian Duffy of Modified Toy Orchestra, composer and performer Ray Lee, the London Snorkelling Team, electroacoustic experimentalists Soundkitchen and members of the Powerplant collective will be taking over the public foyer spaces around Symphony Hall as well as opening up areas usually closed to the public for performance such as dressing rooms, the piano store, the artists’ bar and band rooms.

Collaborating with one of Birmingham’s most popular cultural destinations is a huge privilege for Fierce and offers up an exciting challenge to present Symphony Hall in a fresh way. We’ve burrowed into every nook and cranny in the building to fill spaces with cutting edge installations by a selection of leading sound artists and promise all who come to Curious Sounds in Curious Spaces a captivating and memorable experience.

– Laura McDermott, joint artistic director of Fierce Festival

All events at Curious Sounds in Curious Spaces are free of charge and open to all.

Symphony Hall’s 21st Anniversary Festival began on Wednesday 11 January with a visit from The Royal Opera. Future performances from Kailash Kher, Elvis Costello, Sarah Millican, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis, Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet, John Malkovich, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons and the Vienna Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle.

SYMPHONYHALL, BIRMINGHAM
12PM – 5PM, SATURDAY 7 APRIL 2012
FREEADMISSION

ENDS

Notes to editor:

Highlights:

Mobile Sinfonia – 4.30pm performance
One of three UK launch performances of a new work by Jem Finer (ex-The Pogues). Developed in collaboration with a team of computer scientists at ICIA in Bath, the piece consists of a series of ringtones downloaded from the Mobile Sinfonia website and ‘performed’ by the general public in a space where use of mobile technology is usually frowned upon.

Picture and Piano – 2pm performance
In this piece created exclusively for Symphony Hall by artist Graeme Miller, a mechanical piano on a track will retreat from centre stage in Symphony Hall through the scene dock onto the street. Eventually it will come to rest opposite the Pitcher and Piano pub situated at the rear of the building.

Juneau Projects – 12pm – 4.30pm
Tissue box guitars with elastic band strings will be the DIY instruments of the past as Juneau Projects take music-making workshops into the 21st Century. Use cardboard to build your own instrument then add some simple electronics to trigger sound samples, take to the stage and play!

8 Bit Lounge – 12pm – 4.30pm
The gaming DJs will transport their monthly club night at the Hare and Hounds to Symphony Hall with Gameboy music, chip-core tunes and an array of retro arcade games to play.

Sonic Tree – 12pm – 4.30pm
Building on the success of their recent residency at VIVID and their monthly nights at the Hare and Hounds, Soundkitchen will curate a large installation covered in speakers featuring a series of local artists and musicians.

The Feral Choir – 1.30pm and 4.00pm
For almost a decade Phil Minton has brought together professional singers and members of the public alike to participate in his Feral Choir. For the celebrations, groups from the Symphony Hall Learning, Outreach and Participation teams will perform. A series of workshops over a number of weeks will encourage the participants to consider the potential of their bodies to create sounds and noises beyond the traditional act of singing.

Felix’s Machines – 12pm – 4.30pm
Automata like you have never seen before. Felix Thorn makes moving musical installations from all sorts of found materials from parts of musical instruments to soap dishes.

Tuning Up – 12.15pm performance
Explore the building’s resonant qualities with Bill Leslie and Stephen Cornford’s piece Tuning Up which uses sections of harmonicas and helium balloons. As the balloons are released, the helium makes them ascend to the ceiling, where they gradually deflate exhaling helium through the harmonica and thus emitting a sound.

Background:

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving Education and Community department reaches a further 10,000 people of all ages.

Fierce Festival is annual international festival of live art that takes place across Birmingham. A man in a giant bird’s nest on the side of a high-rise; Una White’s name spelled out in our lights above the city; a flock of hot-air balloons playing music at dawn… For over a decade, Fierce Festival has established an international reputation for risk-taking, excellence and innovation and is now widely recognized as one of the UK’s most important contemporary arts festivals.

Media contacts:

Fiona Fraser
Press & PR Manager
E Fiona.fraser@thsh.co.uk
T 0121 644 5008 (Direct)

Lyle Bignon
Assistant Press & PR Manager
E lyle.bignon@thsh.co.uk
T 0121 644 6028 (Direct)

Annabel Clarke
E press@wearefierce.org
T 07719 933300

Helen Stallard
E Helen@helenstallard.co.uk
T 07740 339604

Issue date

Monday 19 March 2012