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Roger Eno’s visual and musical take on Norfolk

  • Date: 6 August 2013
  • Area: South East
Roger Eno sat composing at the piano

Roger Eno's St Swithun's Project.

In a fascinating new project, supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts, renowned composer Roger Eno is helping audiences to engage with Norwich Arts Centre and its history.

Based on the concept of translating images through music, the build-up to this project focused on creating two distinct packages of work – of which only one would ultimately be used. The deciding factor for the choice between these two packages of work was the weather noted on 15th July, which is St Swithun’s Feast Day.

The first set of work contained 40 warm, summery images from across Norfolk, including hay bales and sun faded signs. The second comprised 40 images depicting wet weather – the contents of which is lost forever as the beautiful sunny weather on St Swithun’s Feast Day meant the dry package of work was chosen.

Each image is accompanied by a unique composition by Roger, which picks up on the emotions, movements and textures of the image and seeks to convey them through music. In addition to investment from the Arts Council, the project is also supported by Escalator Music and Norwich Arts Centre.

In the 40 days following St Swithun’s Feast, between 13:00 and 13:40 each day, one image from the ‘dry’ package of work, along with its accompanying composition which is 40 seconds long, will be showcased on a loop at Norwich Arts Centre and also made available online for audiences to enjoy. Each of the images will also be overlaid with a single word; over the 40 days these words will come together to build a poem.

All of the music is made available to audiences and they are encouraged to share their own performances online for others to enjoy.

Roger Eno said: ‘I have always been fascinated by sound, stories and landscapes, and more particularly the translation of image into music. This project has been a fantastic opportunity to really explore this topic more fully and experience how audiences engage with the work, whilst also raising awareness of and interest in Norwich Arts Centre.’

Cate Canniffe, Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: ‘This is a really fascinating project that explores the way we engage with imagery and how that can be enhanced through the addition of a unique music composition. We are very happy to be supporting this project through our Grants for the arts programme and look forward to seeing how audiences share their own interpretation of the music.’

You can follow this project by visiting Norwich Arts Centre or heading to http://norwichartscentre.co.uk/st-swithuns/.