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The Voice Project Choir to stage new work around Anthony Gormley's Time Horizon at Houghton Hall





The groundbreaking Voice Project Choir has announced its ambitious new event ‘The Lie of The Land’.

This will see the massed voices of the community-based, open-access ensemble create a promenade choral theatre show around Antony Gormley’s ‘Time Horizon’ at Houghton Hall this weekend (July 13 and 14).

The Lie of the Land will feature original music by Jonathan Baker, Sian Croose and Orlando Gough, inspired by and responding to Gormley’s work.

The Voice Project v1. Picture: JMA PHOTOGRAPHY-2
The Voice Project v1. Picture: JMA PHOTOGRAPHY-2

Some of the words for the piece are taken from the Daisy Hildyard essay which accompanies the exhibition describing the journey of the Houghton landscape from its creation and evolution in the Ice Age to its occupation by humans, to the building of the hall and the themes of Time Horizon itself.

It details the relationship of the human body to landscape, past, present, and future.

Alongside the choir will be voice project soloists Jeremy Avis, Lisa Cassidy, Sharon Durant, and instrumentalist Adrian Lever.

Voice Project Houghton. Picture: Phil Sayer
Voice Project Houghton. Picture: Phil Sayer

This is the first time that Time Horizon, featuring 100 life-size sculptures, has been staged in the UK. Each sculpture weighs 620kg and has an average height of 191cm.

They are installed at the same level to create a single horizontal plane across the landscape. Some figures are mostly or partially buried, allowing only a part of the head to be visible, while others are buried to the chest or knees.

Only occasionally do they stand on the existing surface. Around a quarter of the works are placed on concrete columns that vary from a few centimetres high to rising four meters off the ground.

Voice project co-director Sian Croose said: “Antony Gormley refers to Time Horizon as ‘a field’ and in a similar way the choir is a field.

“In a way we are one ‘instrument’ rather than individuals when we sing as part of a choir.

“We will create a piece that uses the stillness of the sculptures and the movement of the singers, playing with the networks and patterns we can create with music, and over 100 breathing, moving bodies.”

Fellow co-director Jonathan Baker added: “It’s very exciting to be returning to Houghton Hall and interact with Antony Gormley’s inspiring installation in the landscape.

“It invites reflection on deep time and the changes that have happened to the land in history, subjects that we are keen to explore in music.”

Composer Orlando Gough said: “We are deeply privileged to be creating an event which interacts with the extraordinarily beautiful parkland of Houghton Hall, its vibrant wildlife, and Antony Gormley’s powerful, thought provoking installation Time Horizon.

“What a wonderful opportunity: over a hundred people singing in a landscape, mulling over questions of evolution, of nature and control, of history and nostalgia. What will the deer think?”

Although principally Norfolk-based, a parallel Voice Project Choir has been established in Sussex following successes at the Brighton Festival - and singers from this group as, well as online participants from around the UK, Spain and Ireland, will join them for the final rehearsals and performances.

The Voice Project was formed in 2008 to create ambitious, uplifting and innovative performances pieces for large scale open access community choirs.

For further information and ticket bookings visit: www.voiceproject.co.uk

Got an event? Email molly.nicholas@iliffepublishing.co.uk



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