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Guest singers announced for premiere of Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard’s Requiem for 114 Radios

A host of well-known, celebrated music artists have been invited to participate in a remarkable new art installation of 114 FM radios that will open at Colston Hall, Bristol on Friday 13 May.

Requiem for 114 Radios by artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (directors of the Nick Cave docu-drama 20,000 Days on Earth) will be at the heart of this year’s international contemporary music weekend, Bristol New Music, which runs from Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 May at Colston Hall, St George’s Bristol and The Cube Cinema.

Set within the depths of the Colston Hall cellars, the installation will see 114 radios individually tuned to separate singing voices, static and unidentifiable noise, creating an ethereal choir singing the Dies Irae from the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass. Twelve guest singers have been invited to record the track, which famously featured in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

The full list of singers announced to participate to date are:

Matt Berninger (The National)
Casper Clausen (Efterklang/Liima)
Jarvis Cocker
Jimi Goodwin
(Doves)
Rachel Goswell (Slowdive, Minor Victories)
Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets)
Joe McAlinden (Linden, ex. Superstar/BMX Bandits)
Aimee Nash (The Black Ryder)
Conrad Standish (The Devastations)
Jonnine Standish (HTRK)
Elena Tonra (Daughter)
Rachel Zeffira (Cat’s Eyes)

Update 5 May: We are also pleased to announce that Jehnny Beth (Savages) and Beth Orton will be lending their voices to the piece.

Normally closed to the public, the eerie experience offers a rare opportunity for visitors to access the cellars of the 1867-built Colston Hall, prior to closing for a two-year redevelopment project.

Todd Wills, Head of Programme for Colston Hall and Bristol New Music 2016, said:

“Requiem for 114 Radios will be an experience like nothing we have seen or heard before, opening our usually inaccessible cellars to the public. Once inside, we will encounter a strange assembly of radios, singing and crackling away, as if we’re lost in an eerie abandoned archive.”

Forsyth and Pollard explained:

“We wanted to make a new work that mourns the decline of analogue technology. Digital is too clean. It doesn’t degrade and screw up in the same way – there’s no in between spaces filled with static and white noise. We’re thrilled to be given access to this remarkable space inside Colston Hall. The acoustic properties of these low brick cellars combined with our unstable choir of 114 radios will make for an unpredictable experience.”

Watch our Q&A with Iain and Jane about the project:

The premiere of Requiem of 114 Radios, commissioned by Colston Hall and public art producers Ginkgo Projects for the Bristol New Music weekend and funded by Urban Creation, appears at Colston Hall for an extended period following the weekend of music events.

Jonathan Brecknell, director at Urban Creation, the Bristol-based property developer funding the Requiem for 114 Radios project, said:

“This project chimes perfectly with Bristol’s strong creative spirit and will offer visitors a truly unique and unpredictable experience. I have a real passion for this city and everything that it has to offer including its vibrant arts and music scene, so it is an absolute privilege for Urban Creation to be supporting this project.”

Bristol New Music took place for the first time in 2014 to offer a platform for established and emerging contemporary artists to explore new realms of music and engage new audiences.

As well as the world premiere of Requiem for 114 Radios, the 2016 event will include premieres of new music works by Bristol born and raised composer John Bence, with the Concaneda Choir, a new audio visual performance by Norweigan trumpeter and soundscaper Arve Henriksen, and Kronos Quartet will present three UK premieres of work by composers aged 30 or under alongside pieces by Terry Riley and an arrangement of The Who’s Baba O’Reilly.

The festival will also include the first UK live tour date of Max Richter’s Ensemble and a concert by Immix Ensemble and Bristol producer Vessel.

Bristol New Music is a consortium of five key organisations in Bristol, led by Colston Hall, including Arnolfini, Spike Island, St George’s Bristol and the University of Bristol, dedicated to bringing the very best international new music to the UK, while working to create opportunities for emerging regional artists. The 2016 weekend is curated by a partnership of Colston Hall, St George’s Bristol and the University of the Bristol.

For more information on Bristol New Music and to book tickets visit www.bristolnewmusic.org