Tim Boon, Head of Research & Public History, blogs about an exciting new project at the Science Museum for 2015.
The Science Museum will be the venue for an exciting musical event in autumn 2015. Six contemporary composers are writing new pieces of music inspired by key objects and spaces in the Museum. On the night of the concert, audiences will travel through the Museum to hear the pieces performed live next to the objects of inspiration. This unmissable event is a collaboration between the Museum, NMC Recordings and the Aurora Orchestra, which are both renowned for their support for innovative music and engaging musical events.
Music is a natural subject for the Science Museum: intellectually it provides a powerful example of the interaction of technology and culture; practically it has the power to deeply enhance the variety of what we can offer our visitors, and emotionally it has the potential to move and deepen engagement with our collections and spaces.
Together, we have commissioned Gerald Barry, Barry Guy, Christopher Mayo, Claudia Molitor, Thea Musgrave and David Sawer who – with their diverse approaches, techniques and styles – will offer Museum visitors, Aurora audiences and NMC listeners new and interactive listening experiences in a setting overflowing with landmark achievements and innovations in science and technology.
Barry is working on an extraordinary graphic score based on Charles Babbage’s difference engine workings.
Claudia is exploring ‘non-music’ inspired by the BBC 2LO transmitter and the idea that music was originally prohibited on BBC radio.
Gerald’s piece is about ‘the mysterious and unnameable aspects of outer space’; Chris’s work will be presented in the Flight Gallery where he hopes the audience will make some of the same connections he’s making ‘on the journey from idea to inspiration’; reflecting on a world where there’s an increasing emphasis on speed David has chosen the mail coach in the Making the Modern World gallery to seek clarity in time standing still; and Thea says: ‘I do like the idea of composing something for the Energy Hall… I plan to place two or perhaps three performers on the upper level with the rest on the lower level facing people as they enter the Museum. I am thinking generally of the wonders of discovery, with soloists ‘taking off’ with flights of fancy against the more earthbound group below.’
To find out more about the project and how to support it, please visit our Oramics Machine Facebook page.