Art / Design, England, Music

Silent Sound

We fancied getting out so we walked through the drizzle to the South London Gallery for a late breakfast, early lunch; brunch I think they call that. We didn’t even check the schedule so we had no expectations for the exhibition itself; we only went to eat if we’re honest…

In the dark main gallery room was a sign and explanation of an art-work titled Silent Sound. We shrugged and climbed the black stairs, down a pitch-black corridor and felt our way onto a bench in complete darkness. In the small circular room a single machine behind glass was playing beautiful and powerful contemporary classical music.

After a fantastic lunch we found and bought the recording of Silent Sound from the shop and went home…

It turns out that the performance is much more than simply great music. It was a fascinating recording of a live performance inspired by the Davenport Brothers (who were famous for contacting the souls of the dead using a ‘spirit cabinet’). In Silent Sound, the artists onstage repeated a message into microphones from within a sound proof booth that was then fed silently through a live music recital. The message embedded subliminally through music, encourages the audience to open themselves to the possibility of receiving the message without actually hearing it… Find out more about artists Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard here.

“The signal needs to be carried. The truth doesn’t matter.”

Silent Sound South London Gallery 1

Silent Sound South London Gallery 2

Silent Sound South London Gallery 3

Silent Sound South London Gallery 6

Silent Sound South London Gallery 7

Photograph Louise Hepworth on the AV Festival page where the live performance was held.

Ask me if interested, I could write much too much about this.


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