Innovative new music invites us to feel the wonder of the everyday
24 February 2022
Ulster University in partnership with Northern Lights Project and Derry City and Strabane District Council are proud to present a new music composition as part of the Illuminate Festival.
Beating the Walls which will be performed by Ulster University Music students on Saturday 26th February at St Augustin's Old School House in Derry, takes as its inspiration, the contours of the Derry City Walls. This innovative new project invites people to explore the science of sound and place through the creation of an original composition based on maps and measurements of the iconic Derry walls. When performing, musicians will respond to an animated projection of a map of the city walls.
Composer and Ulster University Lecturer Rob Casey describes the music as a Derry homage to the great American composer Alvin Lucier who died in December 2021. 'We wanted to create a piece that paid tribute to Alvin Lucier's hunger for marrying the marvels of science and music through his unique, poetic compositional voice. Like all great artists, his work asks that we take some time to attend to the wonder that exists in our everyday lives. Our piece, Beating the Walls, traces the elevation of the Derry City Walls in sound, inviting musicians to interact with the contours of the Walls that are so familiar to us.
Director of Northern Lights project Peter O'Doherty added: 'We are delighted to continue our partnership with the music team at Ulster University with this project. Building on our Experimental Music concert series Derry Sound Factory, our aim is to continue to work together to grow opportunities for adventurous local performers, composers, and listeners, to take part in events in which art, science, technology, space and place come together. With these initiatives we are encouraging people that are curious to come along and get involved as active participants as well as audience members.'
Alderman Graham Warke, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: "We are delighted to have Ulster University and the Northern Lights Project involved as part of our innovative and spectacular Illuminate festival programme. Illuminate celebrates the extensive history of our city, and central to that history is the City Walls. The Beating the Walls event will celebrate this iconic feature through the medium of music and sound.
"This unique piece composed by Rob Casey, a lecturer at Magee, has really embraced the spirit of the Illuminate festival and will encourage the next generation of musicians to take inspiration from their surroundings. This is just one of many cultural collaborations with Ulster University and offers an example of what can be achieved when partners collaborate to create a sense of place for our citizens. I have no doubt it will be a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable performance from the Ulster University Music students, exploring their creativity and talent."
Beating the Walls will be performed at 8pm on Saturday February 26th at St Augustin's Old School House in Derry.