NEWS: Composer Mira Calix Creates a New Musical Experience for London 2012 Olympic Celebrations

‘With this musical sculpture Mira Calix has managed to wrest not blood, but music from a stone, putting the music into rock and creating an exciting new cultural attraction.’  Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

Nothing is Set in Stone is a musical composition set in a standing stone sculpture at Fairlop Waters, a nature reserve and country park  in the London  Borough of Redbridge. The multi award-winning composer and artist (including  a Royal Philharmonic Society Award and British Composers Award) has created her first ever musical sculpture from a metamorphic rock known as Angel Stone (or Gneiss).

Mira Calix has worked in consultation with mineralogists from the Natural History Museum in order to create a physical experience of music.

“I’m composing a piece of music as an object, a song you can stand in the shadows of” Mira Calix

Though the composition is conceived as continuous piece of music, the piece is never heard in it’s entirety. Different melodic elements are activated by the audiences approach and movement. It’s interactivity is subtle, both mysterious and playful, each listener constructing a unique version of the song as they explore the monolithic structure.

Calix has drawn on the rock itself, its location, and sounds related to stones and the environments in which they are found – pastoral and ancient. Creating both the music and the sculptural form together, the  sculpture, with stones in unusually upright positions, and the piece of music are expressions of one another. Like the ever-changing dawn chorus of birds or the rushing of a river, it is embedded in the landscape. Calix has commented that the words of Heraclitus have been important to her in the conception of the piece:
“Everything changes and nothing remains still… you cannot step twice into the same stream” 

This work can be understood within a rich history of experimental artists, such as Steve Reich, Bruce Nauman and Florian Hecker, all of whom have explored the relationship between sound and form. This piece is also related to a recent interest of Mira Calix in process-based sound sculpture, in which sculptural form and sound are intrinsically linked.

Nothing is Set In Stone is commissioned by Oxford Contemporary Music and is part of a  programme of free events commissioned by the Mayor of London called Secrets: Hidden London, which aims to make Londoners as well as visitors look at and experience the city in a new way.

Secrets: Hidden London – Nothing Is Set In Stone from 21st June until 9th September 2012.

www.nothingissetinstone.info
www.molpresents.com
www.ocmevents.org
www.miracalix.com

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