NVA’s Speed of Light launches

Posted: August 13, 2012 in News

At the summit

On Thursday 9 August 2012 NVA presented the premiere of Speed Of Light with sound designed by the Resonance Radio Orchestra. The week before the VIP launch had seen a flurry of activity as emails passed between composer Chris Weaver and electronics consultant Sukandar Kartadinata. Right up to the last minute adjustments were being made to the (slightly temperamental) devices to facilitate the audio component of this complex and ambitious project. After a fair amount of trial and error – every decision required reconfiguring dozens of the components – Chris settled on a new middle section for the work, offering an elegant framing device which we think allows the soundscape of Edinburgh to impress itself upon the mind of the listener, rather than opting for a structurally robust composition. There were practical as well as aesthetic considerations involved in this change of emphasis – not simply the presence of wind on the summit of Arthur’s Seat, but the fact that the city is an often loud and vibrant presence, replete with sirens, seagulls, fireworks, sounds from a drum and pipe school, the hum of traffic and so on, all of it carried to the somehow still silent cliff.
There’s a fair amount of press accumulating around Speed Of Light now. As one of the major presentations of the Edinburgh International Festival it has attracted not only the attention of the broadsheets but even the odd government minister. We’ll try and get some more images up soon, as this is very much a “son et lumiere” work, but deeply (a)live and kinetic.


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