Hearing Shadows Wordless Light: Music after James Turrell

Tremenheere Gallery, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens 17th Feb 2024 7:00pm

Hearing Shadows Wordless Light is a project that aims to provide powerful musical responses to art installations by world-renowned artist James Turrell at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. The event on 17th February will be the first live performance of the new pieces by composer Jim Aitchison and is the third and final stage of the project, following creative workshops at Tremenheere in September 2023 and Falmouth University in November 2023. The music will be performed by violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved, the Kreutzer Quartet and pianist Roderick Chadwick. In addition to the Turrell-inspired music, the concert will also include music by Sadie Harrison in response to poetry by Malene Sheppard Skaerved and music by Bach for solo cello performed by Neil Heyde.

Tremenheere is home to two artworks by James Turrell: Tewlwolow Kernow – an elliptical doomed ‘skyspace’ chamber designed as a space from which to view the sky and Aqua Oscura – A huge subterranean disused water tank housing a camera obscura, which presents a moving projection of light of the tree canopy above. Ideas for a project begun in 2017 when Tremenheere Director Neil Armstrong took composer Jim Aitchison inside Aqua Oscura for the first time. Following a later visit to Tewlwolow Kernow, the idea emerged to create a musical response that explores both spaces.

Jim Aitchison will present his musical odyssey responding to both Turrell’s Skyspace, and the Aqua Oscura. His music seeks to evoke the gradual emergence of sight from womb-like utter darkness, and the haunted fleeting beauty of the passing seasons captured by Turrell’s camera obscura.

Sadie Harrison’s music in response to poetry by Malene Sheppard Skaerved weaves its way through the English garden amongst fairytales, ghosts, exotic flowers and magic. Hovering at the edges of fantastical dreamworlds, the poetry and music explore human love and loss with quiet insightfulness.

The project is funded by Arts Council England, National Lottery Projects Grants with support from Research England and Falmouth University. The project is devised by composer Jim Aitchison in collaboration with violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Tremenheere Director Neil Armstrong, film director Malene Sheppard Skaerved, filmmaker Immo Horn, pianist Roderick Chadwick and the Kreutzer Quartet.

Music after James Turrell by Jim Aitchison, with music by Sadie Harrison.

Peter Sheppard Skaerved, violin
Kreutzer Quartet
Roderick Chadwick, piano

Concert Programme
Jim Aitchison – Aperture (2023) (Solo Violin)
Johann Sebastian Bach – Cello Suite no. 5 in C minor BWV 1011 (1720)
Sadie Harrison – A House of Countless Rooms - Five Poems for Malene (2023)* (String Quartet) 


Johannes Brahms/Jim Aitchison – Canon after ‘Mir lächelt kein Frühling’ (2023)* (Piano Quintet)
Jim Aitchison – ‘Transience Patterns’ (2024)* (Piano Quintet)
(*world premieres)