CAITLIN ROWLEY
composer

Lines of Sight at the ICA, Thursday

I’m pleased to announce that my first performance for 2013 is happening this week! This is the first performance of something I’ve written for my Masters, so I’m pretty excited about it. It’s on Thursday 17 January at the Institute of Contemporary Art on The Mall, London and starts at 6.30.

The evening is part of ICA’s Touring Talks for their Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument exhibition, which is showing maquettes of sculptures made for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. The pieces being performed have all been written in response to the exhibition and its consideration of the space and history of Trafalgar Square and are all by Trinity Laban students.

Many of the pieces in this performance are quite experimental, in content or approach to the space, and my piece, Lines of Sight, falls into this category. It’s a graphic score work for three string instruments (violin, viola and cello for this performance but could be any string instruments) which responds to the creation of Trafalgar Square as a mechanism for social control.

The area we now know as Trafalgar Square was once a rather seedy residential area, and the Victorians were keen to clean it up. So they built Trafalgar Square, not merely as a space for grand monuments, but by the placing of those large fountains and grand staircases, they broke up the space with the specific intent to make it difficult for large crowds to gather.

Lines of Sight is designed so that – like the Victorian ideal for Trafalgar Square – the only “perfect” version is one where there is no audience. The players are situated on the same level as the (standing, moving) audience and communicate using visual cues. Additionally, the design of the exhibition means that players 2 and 3 cannot see each other at all, so they are entirely reliant on being able to see player 1 for the piece to proceed with precision.

As the space becomes more crowded or people move around, and the lines of sight become obscured by the audience, the players must use their ears to try to work out where they are in the score and to move to the next section. The aim for a precise execution of the piece as a group effort is thwarted by the obstacles raised by the audience and by the design of the space.

Quite simply, it is designed to fall apart.

The performance is free and runs for about 2 hours from 6.30pm at ICA – you can come and go as you wish throughout the event, and there’s a cafe if you’re overwhelmed with the awesome 🙂 My piece is on quite early, but there’s loads of interesting pieces being performed throughout the event, so do come even if you can’t get there for 6.30.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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