Derry Walls to launch 'Stone Tapes' audio-artworks

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 12:35 -- Editor

Culture Night Derry Strabane 2019 will see the official launch of four sound art pieces, collectively entitled The Stone Tapes, at the gates of Derry-Londonderry’s city walls.

‘The Stone Tapes’ are by four local artists from the Bishop Street Studios – Catherine Ellis, Janet Hoy, Stephen Lewis and Amanda Walker - and will be launched with a series of events at the city gates that inspired each artwork.

The pieces have been composed as part of the Walled City 400 celebrations, and seek to bring the concept of ‘If Stones Could Speak’ to life by drawing inspiration from the 19th Century theory of ‘stone tapes’.

This concept is that some ghostly phenomena could be explained as just the sounds of life, that had been absorbed and trapped in the fabric of nearby rocks and buildings - only to be occasionally released and heard again, playing and replaying like a recording.

A soundscape has been created for each of the four original gates of the city walls – Bishop’s Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Shipquay Gate and Butcher Gate.

Each piece speaks of the history that has unfolded around their arches, as if sounds of city life over the last 400 years have been captured, jumbled and compressed over time, only now to be released again.

Artist Janet Hoy said: “When developing this project we all hoped that visitors to the Walls would listen to our work, using their smartphones, and ideally headphones, while walking the circuit from one City Gate to the next. The intention is to transform that walk into more of an imaginative engagement with the location, helping to deliver a deeper cultural understanding.”

The project will be launched on Culture Night with a chance to experience these site specific works in situ. The artists will introduce their particular work and give some insight into the history and heritage that inspired them.

The artists will be on site at the following points, Bishops Gate: Amanda Walker (7-7.15pm), Ferryquay Gate: Stephen Lewis (7.30-7.45pm), Shipquay Gate: Catherine Ellis (8-8.15pm), Butcher Gate: Janey Hoy (8.30-8.45pm).

The Stone Tapes can be heard at www.stonetapes.com.

Culture Night 2019 takes place on Friday September 20th and will feature an extensive programme of over 50 events around the City and District, including visual arts, music, dance, talks, discussions, tours, trails, heritage, museums and family events.

The schedule has been designed to allow people to drop in and move around venues across the City and District to take in the wide variety of cultural activities on offer.

The full programme for Culture Night 2018 is available to view at www.derrystrabane.com/culturenight.

The public can follow the action and share their own experiences on social media using the hashtag #CultureNightDS.