City’s people to provide new soundtrack for Derry

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People of Derry and beyond have been invited to record a new soundtrack for ‘Mute Meadow’, a stunning new public art project planned for Ebrington - and the largest ever public art project planned in Northern Ireland.

Mute Meadow, designed by former Turner Prize Nominee Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier, will convert the sounds of the city into unique patterns of light, transmitted and reflected through 40 angled steel columns.

Located at Ebrington and accessible from the new Peace Bridge, the forest of light will make an imposing statement on the waterfront. The steel columns shimmer and reflect natural light during the day, and at night emit slow pulses of light. The colours of the lights will be dictated by the sound data collected by local people and the artwork is due to be completed in late spring 2011.

The Verbal Arts Centre is inviting schools, community groups and the residents of Derry to get involved in the project and help record a unique new soundtrack for the city.

James Kerr from the Verbal Arts Centre explained how to get involved: “This is the largest public art piece ever commissioned in Northern Ireland and everyone has an opportunity to be part of it. Through the One day I Planted a Seed website you can now record your own sounds, which will then become part of the soundtrack of the artwork.

“Mute Meadow is undoubtedly a metaphor for the city as it continues to evolve and will make a powerful contribution to our ongoing development as a creative and cultural destination.”

Sounds can be uploaded through the One Day I Planted a Seed website and what sound you choose to add is limitless. It can be anything from music, to recording the sounds on the street to reading a verse or reciting a poem.

Professor Declan McGonagle, Director of the College of Art and Design Dublin and Chair of the Foyle Public art Project Steering Group commented: “Art is increasingly playing a role in the regeneration of our towns and cities. It is recognised around the world as one of the prime catalysts of social and economic regeneration, and the lesson of other places tells us that economic, environmental and social planning which includes arts and culture, provides a much stronger foundation on which to build a balanced society.

“When completed, Mute Meadow will demonstrate to the world, in the context of other significant initiatives, that Derry is a modern, forward looking city, which places culture at its very heart.”

Mute Meadow is funded by the North West Cultural Challenge Fund. Delivery partners include Ilex, the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, the Department of Social Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry City Council.

See: for details or to upload your sounds.