Friday, 22 March 2019

The Occasion Collective - SLOW at Durham Castle

Last Saturday evening I had the pleasure of experiencing SLOW, an immersive live sound performance and promenade held in the majestic grandeur of Durham Castle, hosted by The Occasion Collective (TOC).

"TOC is a curatorial and practice-based artist-led collective which provides artists with the opportunity to exhibit, develop and collaborate.with a focus on engaging new audiences with spectacular and speculative creative practice. TOC champions transdisciplinary collaboration, and creates a much-needed platform for artists of varied disciplines for mutual benefit."

SLOW by Jamie Cook, looks to explore the possibilities of acoustic/electronic collaboration through large-scale, immersive, meditative, promenade performance and installation. Cook’s work often utilises mixed media collaboration, exploring the relationships between art/music/dance/film and how the lines between these practises can be blurred to create new and interesting possibilities.

In response to Cook's work, the history and heritage of Durham Castle and it's surrounding research, TOC artists Bex Harvey, James Pickering and Adam Goodwin displayed a number of audio-visual installations. 

As the musicians played in the Castle's Great Hall, the complex, poly-rhythmic, surround-sound textures created were channelled throughout the winding stairs and underground chapel and a number of other hidden locations within the Castle grounds. The Castle came alive and there was a really special vibe as people bustled round trying to find all that was to be seen. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was not expecting for it to be as extensive as it was. The only slight downsides were that it was very difficult to hear the audio from the videos as the audio from the Great Hall was so well circulated throughout the entire Castle. 

My other mildly critical comment would be that it would have been useful to know how many video works or other artworks there were to find. A map would have guided us round, but I appreciate that the artists may have wanted for things to be less obvious and add to the sense of discovery as one wanders around.

SLOW - Composed by Jamie Cook

Performed by

Jamie Cook (electronics)

Will Hammond (vibraphone)

Merle Harbron (fiddle)

Ceitidh Macleod (cello)

Adam Sams (bass clarinet)

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