Sound Strata of Coastal Northumberland, AV Festival’s first touring exhibition and publication launches on 21 March, running until 26 April. The opening day concludes with a special concert at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema.
Sound Strata of Coastal Northumberland is a sound installation by artist Susan Stenger based on a diagram of coastal geological formations from the River Tyne to the Scottish border, drawn by local mining engineer Nicholas Wood in 1838. It was commissioned by AV Festival 2014, and now tours to three locations on Wood’s diagram: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Woodhorn Museum and Holy Island.
The exhibition tour begins at The Gymnasium Gallery on the historic coastal ramparts in Berwick-upon-Tweed, powerfully marking the concluding section of Nicholas Wood’s geological journey. The gallery is a short walk from the train station, which is served by east coast mainline trains. Map and directions can be found here.
The events program at Berwick-upon-Tweed launches with a special concert featuring two leading Scottish folk musicians, Alasdair Roberts and Barnaby Brown. In addition the acclaimed sound recordist Chris Watson leads a sound walk, and there is an opportunity to meet the artist Susan Stenger and learn more about Sound Strata at a meet-the-artist afternoon at The Gymnasium Gallery. Stenger also gives an in-depth lecture about her work at The Mining Institute in Newcastle.
A fully illustrated 96-page hardback publication accompanies the exhibition tour, including a CD stereo mix of the installation. This is the first comprehensive solo publication about Susan Stenger and provides detailed information about Sound Strata as well as background on the artist’s practice.
The publication includes essays by award-winning nature writer Robert Macfarlane and the writer, curator and filmmaker Katherine Waugh, an interview between the artist, Mathieu Copeland and Rebecca Shatwell, and an annotated facsimile of Stenger’s working score for Sound Strata. It also includes a full colour reproduction of the original 1838 cross-section diagram of coastal geological formations by the mining engineer Nicholas Wood.
The publication is available from each of the exhibition touring venues and online here.
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Alasdair Roberts and Barnaby Brown Concert
The Maltings Theatre & Cinema
Sat 21 March, 4.15–6pm (doors 4pm), £7/£5
(Return Newcastle train departs Berwick at 6.16pm)
An unmissable opening concert of Border ballads and pibroch piping with two of Scotland’s leading folk musicians Alasdair Roberts and Barnaby Brown, whose sets include versions of traditional folk tunes featured in Sound Strata.
Songwriter, guitarist and folk singer Alasdair Roberts performs his interpretations of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond, including the Border ballad The Fair Flower of Northumberland, alongside self-written material from his new solo album. Barnaby Brown is a virtuoso player of pibroch, a form of Highland piping characterised by extended compositions of theme and variations. His performance includes The MacFarlanes' Gathering, The Finger Lock and as a duet with Alasdair Roberts, Lasses Make Your Tails Toddle.
Tickets £7/£5, limited capacity so advance booking is recommended here.