Vestiges is a multimedia installation comprising music, art and film and is designed to work in churches. The idea came about in discussions between myself and film-maker Annabel McCourt. Annabel has used my music in a number of her films but we had never jointly conceived a project from scratch before. Our discussions were wide-ranging. In due course we came to agree that we both love churches and we both have broad tastes in art of all types. We felt it would be worth trying to create work that ‘works with’ a church, rather than just happening to be in a church, but without the work actually being religious in any way. Rather, it is a matter of working with churches as amazing and inspiring buildings designed in part to induce contemplation. From this the idea of Vestiges was born.
We quickly decided we wanted at least two more artists involved. Artist Linda Ingham was an obvious choice because of an excellent installation entitled Heavy and Light that she had created for Grimsby Minster a few years earlier. This had certainly worked with the church. We wondered if we needed a second composer, but didn’t want to create a situation where sound bleed was an issue. However, we reflected that churches often have separate, more intimate spaces that required a different type of musical approach to my work. Once we realised this, David Lancaster was the obvious choice.
Meetings followed, venues said yes and an Arts Council bid for a short tour of Northern England churches was submitted. This was successful and Vestiges opened its tour at St Mary’s Church in Barton, where we enjoyed a truly exceptional degree of help and support from those associated with the church.
Here is a link to a short film about the opening night in Barton:
After that, Vestiges moved to Grimsby Minster. This markedly larger church offered new possibilities and challenges. You can see a film of our time at Grimsby Minster here:
We are looking forward to being at York's Unitarian Chapel to launch the 2014 Late Music Concert Series. The series itself is the best yet, in my humble opinion. The Unitarian Chapel is a fascinating building, markedly different to any church we have worked in before. However, as all our work is site-specific, the very difference of the Unitarian Chapel is a stimulating advantage. Do please come along on Saturday 22nd February to see what we are up to. As well as us, there will be wine, nibbles and a chance to meet other music lovers in the run up to Late Music 2014.
After the Late Music launch, we will be taking Vestiges to the 20:21 Gallery in Scunthorpe (a converted church) where we will be part of the Museums at Night project. As 20:21 won one of the ten national artists, Vestiges will find itself rubbing shoulders with international artist Jessica Voorsanger on this occasion, which is very exciting.
For more about Vestiges, please visit:
For more on the four artists who make up Vestiges, please see these sites:
- David Power