Heavenly Harmonic Fields ……

Harmonic Fields., Birkrigg Common, 3 – 5 June 2011

Entering into the musical environment of Harmonic Fields in the glorious landscape of Birkrigg Common in Ulverston, Cumbria was like entering a conceptual visceral bath, which gave the experience of sensory floating and magical elevation of the body and the mind. This installation wrapped you inside of its mystery and softly entered your consciousness, taking you on a journey into the immersive capacity of sound and our natural environment – the two beautifully entwined and holding hands.

The set out of its various elements was sublime, beautifully orchestrated and well produced. 500 instruments including cellos, strings, flutes, sirens, gongs, harps and organs were installed. The intricacies and simplicities of its elements, the hours of construction that you could imagine went in to it, the elegant and the industrial, the used and the worn all joined to present a vision for recycling that only an artist could imagine and realise. I loved this sound space, it was really enticing and mesmerizing, a meditative and contemplative experience. Things like this can never be permanent installations but I can dream. I also loved the fun and playful cartoon graphics that were scattered around the feet of the instruments, providing context and information to what was going on. Clever and useful – perfect.

I did not get the chance to meet Pierre Sauvegeot, the director of Lieux publics and Harmonic Fields, and I’m not quite sure why as I hung out in the production tent with the Lakes Alive team for some time. Maybe he was in there, maybe he was not, but I hope you get to read my blog. As an artist your work is impressive and it’s the unique, one off and immersive that engages me and your work certainly fits this category.

Its relationship to the environment and to people makes as stunning a contribution to the genres of environmental music and sound art as it does to our concept of outdoor performance and street arts. This is a work of art that changes perceptions and says something new about the landscape we inhabit and the world of the mind that we live with. It quieted the chatter of my conscious mind – and it’s an interesting observation of synchronicity that I travelled some of the distance through Harmonic Fields  with a local Buddhist. We engaged in conversation around the work conversing on the Buddhist concept of non attachment and jointly gave an interview to a local journalist as through we were a couple. Bizarre happenings  inside the field of play in Harmonic Fields.

I saw the article that the journalist wrote and I was extensively quoted as an audience member and local from Carlisle!.  It makes me wonder – is it dishonest not to show my status and relationship to Lakes Alive to the press?. I must confess that I rather enjoy the anonymity. At least the press printed information from someone who is informed and the right messages get out around our intent and vision for Lakes Alive in Cumbria.  Very glad to say this work gets into my best art experiences  – the criteria for which are those events which take me over before I have had the chance to decide whether I want to be. Rare but not impossible. Thank you Pierre – we will meet someday.

~ by Debbi Lander on June 13, 2011.

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