As the final installation comes down, Kathy Hinde's Luminous Birds, we're looking back at the success of Enlighten Manchester Festival of Light and Sound Art 2015.
Featuring an epic 22 installations throughout the Manchester Central Library and The Bridgewater Hall, this stunning festival lit up the dampened dark nights before Christmas, drawing large audiences in from the cold.
Visitors' imaginations were sparked by birds soaring across piano strings to create musical scores; a chandelier of sparkling earrings and a cutting edge sound and light installation that is felt not seen.
Visitors also enjoyed the nightly concerts, which began with the world premiere of The Bremen Town Musicians, a music and live animation work inspired by bestselling author Philip Pullman’s new translation of the Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales. The concert included a specially commissioned score by celebrated film composer Enrica Sciandrone for new music ensemble Psappha.
On Friday evening Kathy Hinde and Matthew Olden presented a live performance of Piano Migrations, which transforms the inside of a recycled piano into a kinetic sound sculpture. We watched enthralled as dozens of small birds landing on telegraph lines appeared to flutter and settle on its strings. Nature appeared to control machines as they came together to create a delicate and ever-changing musical score.
For the Festival's final performance Kay Duncan David performed to a packed room, his piece Relay in which sound and light are combined in a rhythmic, trance-inducing play of echoey clicks and dancing shadows.
Enlighten 2015 was featured in press throughout Manchester and nationally, including in Creative Tourist, The Skinny, That's Manchester TV, Manchester Evening News and BBC News.
That's Manchester TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA8irMEwf7g
Thank you to everyone who made Enlighten 2015 such a success and we look forward to working again with you soon!
There is little time to relax however, as we prepare to launch SPECTRA: Aberdeen's Festival of Light in February.
In partnership with Aberdeen City Council we will deliver a four day light spectacular spanning from Union Terrace Gardens to the Kirk of St Nicholas graveyard and into the signature building of the Granite City Marischal College, celebrating the Scottish Year of Architecture, Innovation & Design through this year’s theme “Spark of Inspiration”.
The festival brings together leading international artists and Scottish collaborators, featuring major public realm and gallery installations alongside new experimental works from the North East’s creative community. The audience will be invited to engage with playful, accessible and high quality performances, spaces and works of art that marry light, sound and interactive experiences.