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Utopia C4: religious tension in Utopia

Utopia, section C4
Utopia, section C4

Two takes on grid section C4 from the map of Utopia today, courtesy of two UK-based sound artists.

The Bells (feat. David Riley) – Nick St. George, Frome, UK

“‘The Bells (feat. David Riley)’ is dominated by a church or other religious building so I have taken religion as my topic.

In Utopia, all religions are tolerated. In real-life, More was a hard-line Catholic, vehemently opposed to the Reformation and said to have approved of the sending of Protestants to the stake for heresy.

‘The Bells’ contrasts these two sides of the man. It is made up predominantly of recordings of church bells gratefully downloaded from those generous people at Freesound.

Added to this, amongst other elements, is a field recording and some musical inserts of my own, a reading from Utopia (vox: David Riley) and a liberal sprinkling of Apple loops.

The piece gets steadily more nightmarish as we move from the liberalism of Utopia to the reality of 16th century religious persecution (More himself was executed for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as Head of the Church of England, and was canonised in 1886).”


Some Place, No Place – Lianray Pienaar, Manchester, UK

“I was inspired by the notion of utopia being some place or ‘no-place’, and therefore these sounds are simultaneously of a place, or no place at all.

I took the approach of compiling miscellaneous sounds taken from various locations and times.”