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Live Charing Cross: Background to Performance - Saturday 20th May 2014


VAD nurse Clarice Spratling spent her last night before leaving for France at the Charing Cross Hotel, in Charing Cross station.


The performance is placed at the central, balancing point of the station. The stillness at the centre of the concourse heightens the awareness of the movement that surrounds it, and invites the eye to roam the space, to notice with fresh eyes the station itself, and the windows of the Charing Cross Hotel which still face onto the concourse.This space is filled with the ghosts of journeys past, constantly growing in number, including Clarice’s journey in 1915, and your own journey today.


Using the folding of pillowcases as a starting point, the movement explores the way in which domestic actions would soon become the routine of the war effort. The everyday starts to disintegrate, and sleep is already troubled by a hint of the nightmares to come.


Pillowcases, laid out on earth from Clarice’s ancestral home, speak of her own final night on home soil, and of the many whom she will help lay to rest across the channel.

Roanna Mitchell, Movement Director


The Silence of Displacement - Train Journey, From Ramsgate to London, Saturday 10th May 2014, beginning 11.55am

Through the reoccurrence and duration of journey spent idle in non-place such as a train carriage we are often inclined to either be ruminating on past events (where we have come from) or speculating on the outcomes of future events (where we are going), we rarely take the opportunity to be present here and now within the moment, within the journey, receptive to the nuances of the soundscape that underscores our experience. The sound pieces that you may notice throughout the train journey from Ramsgate to London, scattered between the silence of the carriage, itself take direct inspiration from this.  You may hear a variety of sounds recorded from a train like the one where the event takes place, manipulated and transformed into a bed of sound.In addition to this you may hear similar processes applied to a live feed of the electro-magnetic signals that emanate from the workings of the train. These signals, while naturally outside of our aural perception, bathe us wherever we go, whether it be wireless signals such as wi-fi and radio transmissions or the spinning of wheels on the track beneath you. These signals sing, chirp and drone generating rhythms and textures. When these signals are transposed to our range of hearing we can bare witness to the silent songs of mechanical labour.

Nathan Harmer, Sound Artist

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