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Utopia B3: natural Utopia, and an orchestra of hens

Utopia, section B3
Utopia, section B3

Two detailed and diverse sounds from Utopia today, courtesy of London-based Jase Warner and Edinburgh’s Zoe Irvine.

Jardin d’Utopia – Jase Warner, London, UK

“Having recently read Utopia, I attempted to depict the idyllic society that features in Books 1 and 2 in a naturalistic soundscape, using my vast archive of field recordings as a resource.

By keeping the use of effects to a minimum and only drawing upon original recordings, I aimed to create an organic soundscape that would reflect the primitive and peaceful world of the Utopians.

wanted to use recordings that, so far as I am concerned, are almost utopian in themselves: sounds of places that carry meaning for me; in short, the piece is an insight into my own utopia. Recordings from France feature in the piece, including the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, and an art exhibition courtyard in Arles, as well as some sounds from my home, London: the bells of St Paul’s Cathedral, which ring aloud across the Thames at 7 a.m. on a cold wintery morning, and the sound of my old dishwasher mid-cycle – the frequencies having been tweaked to create a cacophony of high shimmers.

When trimmed, tweaked and moved into place, these recordings begin to take on a life of their own. Suddenly the sound of horses hoofs can be heard, as well as musicians playing some way down the street; passers-by chat amongst themselves, insects and birds sing their songs, and bells ring aloud far off in the distance, suggesting some kind of grand occasion.

And then those high shimmers come to the fore to present what could be rain, or perhaps machinery, or even the cooking of street food.”

The Galloanserae Experimental Ensemble (1516 – 2016) – Zoe Irvine, Edinburgh, UK

“The Galloanserae Experimental Ensemble has a long tradition of playing challenging experimental music. The Ensemble is the longest running musical group of its type, celebrating its 500th anniversary this year!

It was originally founded by 3 extraordinary hens who found they had a particularly honed sense of the concords and discords of sound.

They wished to bring their love of contemporary music to a wider audience and now continuing this aim, their descendants who carry on the Ensemble, have set up their popular lunch-time concert series.

The Ensemble continues to draws upon and develop the rich pool of musical talent on the Island and counts among its repertoire some of the finest, most celebrated scores of our time and through history. No challenge is too daunting and no music too complex for this Ensemble, yet they manage to achieve critical acclaim and a huge popular following.

Their verve and enthusiasm is infectious, their deep feeling for the music they play is what makes every performance an unforgettable experience.

The Ensemble’s concerts, commissioning programmes, championing of women composers over the centuries and cross species collaborative work make an immeasurable contribution to society.

The Galloanserae Experimental Ensemble invite you to their weekly lunchtime concert

Open to all (except foxes)

Regular players: Jackie, Diamond & Tweed

Wednesdays 1pm, see map for location”