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The Magic Hour
Experiencing magical sounds and impromptu performances.
On this page you can watch the videos made in the lead up to The Magic Hour, as Helen Statham from the Botanic Gardens filmed a series of diaries.
The Magic Hour was a six month long project produced by Oxford Contemporary Music in partnership with the Oxford University Botanic Gardens. Artists, scientists and gardeners worked together to explore each other’s worlds and the subject of dusk, twilight or “the magic hour” (as it’s called amongst cameramen and photographers).
The project culminated in a three night event in early September where visitors were able to explore the garden at dusk, and during the evening they experienced magical sounds and impromptu performances.
The artists working on the project were some of the country’s most exciting sound artists and composers. From April to September they researched the garden and its plants, building and composing and working with community groups and schools around Oxford as their work progressed.
Hear some sounds from gardens by clicking on the links below...!
David Rothenburg www.whybirdssing.com
Associate Professor of Philosophy, David Rothenberg is known as a writer, philosopher, ecologist, and musician, speaking out for nature in all aspects of his diverse work. He is both a respected authority on deep ecology, and a jazz clarinetist known for his integration of world music with improvisation and electronics.
His 1993 book, Hand's End: Technology and the Limits of Nature, is about how tools have changed the meaning of nature through history, and how we may direct technology in the future so we will be brought closer to the environment, not farther away.
Robert Jarvis www.robertjarvis.co.uk
Robert Jarvis works as a sound artist and is involved in a wide range of creative activities. As a keen collaborator he has worked with ‘experts’ from many other disciplines, including outside of the arts; however, a significant amount of his work includes engaging with those who do not see themselves as specialists. His projects have at their centre the creation and performance of new work and often involve some form of social engagement as he collaborates with local people towards the creation of an installation or performance. This may take many forms, from conventional music performance through to interactive multi-speaker sonic environments.
His compositions are concerned with encouraging people to listen to the often-neglected sound of their environments and for them to question how they relate to their surroundings. As a result, his pieces open up new worlds for those that come into contact with his work, posing new questions and enticing new appreciations of the sonic landscape.
Rob Kesseler www.robkesseler.co.uk
Throughout his career Rob Kesseler has worked with representations of the natural world, and plants and flowers in particular. Initially inspired by medieval stylistic illustrations, his work progressed into a colourful and sometimes humorous commentary on the way in which plant material has been appropriated by the decorative arts. More recently he has sought to draw upon the potential of contemporary botanical science to create images that lie somewhere between science and symbolism, in which the complexities of representing plants are concentrated into mesmeric visual statements.
In 2001 he was awarded a three year fellowship by NESTA (The National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) to work at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
last updated: 16/09/2008 at 16:17
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