CONGREGATION, Ray Lee
Sat 27th Apr – Sun 28th Apr 2019, Various locations, Newbury Town Centre
In this sci-fi experience devised by Ray Lee, the audience became the performers, carrying sonic spheres with minds of their own through the busy streets of Newbury, guiding them to an unknown destination.
Award winning sound artist and composer Ray Lee has a childlike fascination with radio waves, magnetism, and “circles of ether,” the invisible forces that surround us.In Congregation, fifty audience members per show were split across five different starting locations in Newbury, where they were given small, silver, sonic spheres to carry.
Not knowing what to expect, they were asked to walk through the streets of the busy town centre, guided only by the sounds emitted by the spheres. If the sphere sounded happy, they knew that they were walking the right route; if it gave out sad sounds, that meant a wrong turning.
Curious passers by looked on, drawn in by the strangely beautiful electronic pulsing, chiming, and humming. The sphere carriers were eventually led together in a surreal, sci-fi processional ceremony, towards a bandstand, where the mass of ‘singing’ spheres played an electronic musical composition, and the audience became the orchestral players.
Supported by Without Walls, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Out There Festival, Oxford Contemporary Music, Oxford Brookes University, 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Centre.
Concept, design and composition: Ray Lee
Software development, hardware design, and concept development: Steve Symons
Additional concept development and Costume Design: Stavroula Kounadea
Producer: Simon Chatterton