ONE of the key attractions of this year’s eclectic mix of music on offer for Culture Night – Friday 21stSeptember – will be a unique performance by ‘The Astronomic Weather Choir’ at the Walker Plinth on the City Walls from 7pm–7:40pm.
Derry’s Void Gallery is presenting the unique musical ensemble by artist, poet and choreographer Alex Cecchetti in collaboration with the Siege Museum and Walls 400.
Void has described the performance as one the audience “will never forget” – and are encouraging people to attend on Culture Night!
The Astronomic Weather Choir is able to sing every variation in a landscape as if they were in front of a music score – from the clouds in the sky, to the breeze on top of the trees, from the celestial movement of the moon to the flickering appearing of the first stars of the evening, the colour of the sky to that of the sunset, the position of the sun, the configuration of bird flocks, the waves and the tide.
The choir also sing atmospheric events like ‘rain’ and ‘fog’ and astronomical events that happen in front of them like shooting stars or the movements of astral objects. Indeed, the entire landscape becomes a musical score – and things stop having names but a melody.
A special costume has also been designed for the soprano of The Astronomic Weather Choir – a dress inspired by some exotic birds with the particularity of having a series of wind chime aluminium pipes attached to the sleeves. These wind chimes can be played by the soprano by simply opening her arms.
After the unique performance, people are also encouraged to explore Alex Cecchetti’s ‘At the Gates of the Music Palace’ in the Void Gallery at 8pm, which will have a Children’s Treasure Trail as part of the exhibition – bringing together performance, painting, sculpture and sound installation.
Members of the public are also invited to join local synesthetic musician Daryl Martin as he plays Cecchetti’s work ‘500,000 Azaleas’ and Echo Echo dancer Zoe Ramsey as she activates the work ‘Music Hall’.
Don’t forget to also visit Gallery 2 in Void, where you can experience ‘Cetaceans’, a work which includes sounds of an entire Parisian choir performing whale songs.
The room is almost entirely dark with cushions on the floor so that children and visitors can lie down – the idea being that the sounds of the whales will put you to sleep!
Other great music events at venues across the City and District on Culture Night include the return of the ‘Cottage Session’ stage under the Craft Village canopy from 6pm-11pm with live entertainment from some of the North West’s best local musicians.
There will also be live performances from musicians taking part in the Pulse Music Trail located at various cafes and venues in the city centre and in Strabane’s Castle Street area from 5-8pm.
Meanwhile in St Columb’s Cathedral, there will be a special Culture Night performance from 7-8pm by the Cathedral’s Boy Choristers – featuring Nicky Morton and Louis Fields on the organ.
There will also be a ‘Singing for Him’ performance at the Methodist Church on Carlisle Road from 7:30–8:30pm which promises to be a great musical evening – and encourages people to join in the sing-a-long.
At Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, the very best of young musicians and tutors from the Acadamh Ceoil will also be performing from 6-8pm – guaranteeing to deliver a fabulous night of Irish traditional music, song and dance!
Encouraging people to come along on the night and be part of the celebrations, Events organiser with the Council Sharon Meenan says Culture Night will see spaces and places across the City and District filled with family-friendly free events, happenings, exhibitions and performances.
“Culture Night 2018 is all about encouraging people who would not normally go to a contemporary art exhibition or choir performance to be part of the celebrations.
“Whether it’s attending ‘The Astronomic Weather Choir’ on the Walls or any of our other great music offerings on the night, it’s important to stress that the events are free and easily accessible – you just have to show up and enjoy!
“Culture Night is also about showcasing our local venues and our local talent and inviting the public to be part of it – and we are hugely excited about our celebrations on Friday 21 September and hope it will be a great success,” she said.
The full programme for Culture Night 2018 is available to view at www.derrystrabane.com/culturenight
The public can follow the action and share their own experiences on social media using the hashtag #CultureNightDS