Duration: 38 mins – undetermined | Lead artist, poet: Caroline Bergvall: |  Sound: Jamie Hamilton | Film: Andrew Delaney| First presented as a film stream during Covid lockdown Berlin International Poetry Festival June ’20|

Performance in preparation for Autumn’21 | vocal composition by Gavin Bryars, Data Projection, Printed Text to come |


Sonoscura was created as a film sequence during the first global lockdown. Commissioned by and premiered online “in” Berlin and globally, June 2020. Beautifully shot and edited with long-time collaborator Andrew Delaney, & sound design by Jamie Hamilton, it is structured as a sequence of four slow moving and meditative sections of treated landscapes, immersive spoken text and soundscapes of drones and field recordings. .

Through an attention to a few treated elementals: breath, voices, sea, night-sky, tree, bridge, which merge with sound and text, I wanted to combine moods that can promote thought processes and transform fear into openness. Paradoxically an opportunity to rethink, rekindle one’s relationship to place, to intimacy, to movement and shelter, and the way one lives and works with others, near and far.

Ghostly, spacious and verbal, the work addresses in a multi-sensory and dreamlike way some of these raw issues and societal concerns,  only more acutely highlighted by the pandemic’s confinement.

Includes edited footage from my online collaborative writing event Night & Refuge with poets Vahni Capildeo, Will Harris, Nisha Ramayya and Leo Boix.

4 main pieces: From A to B | Refugio | Night & Refuge | Heare |

In Preparation

Live PerformanceSonoscura is in the process of being recomposed and expanded on to premiere as a live performance in the Autumn 2021.

This will be the final work of my Sonic Atlas cycle dedicated to sounding multiple languages, and migratory landscapes, in unusual settings. It includes the outdoor sunrise performance Ragadawn (2016) and the evolving soundwork discussion Conference of the Birds (2018).

As a companion piece to the site-specific settings of Ragadawn‘s sunrise rituals, this final piece will be a sunset or evening piece. Again it will play off the ambiguities and perceptual shifts of these mysterious moments of twilight into day and into night.

My ongoing interest in variations and breath-led mantras will again take the lead of the spoken rhythms as they had in Ragadawn. Some of the sound and voice duos of Sonoscura developed with Jamie Hamilton will be integrated to this new piece.

This evening work will also include a new vocal score by British composer Gavin Bryars who reprises his role as the vocal composer of this cycle. His memorable “Canso” and the sung parts he wrote for soprano brought a powerful and transformative dimension to Ragadawn.

Lots of exciting aspects in development and more info in due course!

Related Output
Soundtrack. Remixed for release on digital label Takuroku, Cafe Oto. Dec’20. Get it here
Related Output
Text: “Another Great Unhoming”. Commissioned for Place 2020, Centre for Place Writing, MMU . Curated by Rachel Lichtenstein. Expanded into opening text “From A to B”. Read it here.

“An ambitious meditation on the way people, birds and words live in
perpetual migration” – review Conference of the Birds

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian