A dossier of illuminations and orientations relating to the work of Daniel O'Sullivan.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Laid To Rest

I am currently composing music for the next visual colossus by Serena Korda. It's sounding a bit like the Omen.

The band will be as follows:

Daniel O'Sullivan: Piano & Voice
Alex Ward: Clarinet
Chloe Herington: Bassoon
Matthew Parry: Trombone
Steve Noble: Percussion
Katharine Blake: Voice
Bev Lee Harling: Voice
Esther Dee: Voice
Sarah Kayte Foster: Voice
Melpomeni Kermanidou: Voice

Korda's work is inspired by the commercialisation of waste in Victorian London, in particular the vast dust heaps which dominated the skylines at the top of Gray’s Inn Road.  Immortalised by Charles Dickens in 'Our Mutual Friend', the dust heaps supported a wide range of industries including the making of bricks.  Mud from the brick fields of Somers Town was mixed with the ash, cinders and rubbish from the dust heaps, recycling the discarded detritus and dirt of London into the material from which the expanding city was built.

The piece has been commissioned by the Wellcome Collection and is entitled "Laid To Rest". Serena has been collecting dust from various sources (from the organ at the Royal Albert Hall to Neapolitan catacombs). The dust is then poured into a clay mixture and fired into bricks, each brick is independently letter-pressed with a number and place of origin. The bricks will be the centre of a live ritual involving musick (courtesy of yours truly) and dance. There will be two performances at the Wellcome Collection (dates to be published soon) and a funeral procession through London concluding in the burial of these 500 bricks in Regents Park.

Serena's blog is here.

A miscellaneous list of contents:

Cow fur cuttings
Cheddar from Iceland
Moon dust
Two Ladybirds
Bobby hair grip
Almost like soot
Old leather
Matchstick used ends that smell nice
Red carpet fibers
Fly carcass
Persian wool, (from Shiraz)
Saw dust made by children cutting wood to make moving toys
Lace wings
Orangutan hair
Anaconda skeleton
Flakes of bone
Bent rusty nail
Daddy long legs and cobwebs
Biscotti crumbs
Cinema ticket
Coffee grinds
Decaying titles to slides
Rose petals from Cinderella
Cake crumbs
Human remains from the Fontanelle Cemetery
Whippet hair
Pickled skin
Nostril trimmings
Jigsaw pieces
Finger nails
Gold Dust
Tailors chalk
Dust Bunny
Pigeon faeces
4500 upholstered chairs
Fake nails
Bits of ribbon
Iron filings
Woofle dust

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