Events which capture, mix, and perform the sounds of the Horniman Museum and Gardens will take centre stage this weekend in a celebration of audio-art.
Part of the global Being Human Festival, Sounds from the Gardens (16-17 November 2019) is curated by Marcus Leadley from Goldsmiths, University of London, and includes ‘soundwalks’, recording sessions, and workshops – all of which are free to attend.
Compositions created using recordings made in and around the Horniman will broadcast via wireless headphones throughout the Gardens. Live performances from local musicians take place across both days at the museum’s bandstand and conservatory.
Sounds from the Gardens is the first event following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Goldsmiths and the Horniman to determine future joint initiatives.
The two institutions currently collaborate to offer an MA in Anthropology and Museum Practice and now intend to explore other academic areas as partners. The agreement also pledges new research collaborations and an extension of both partners’ public events ambitions, to more deeply engage people from the local community and children from south east London schools.
This month’s Sounds from the Gardens event follows the sold-out Horniman X Goldsmiths in March 2019 – a night of immersive experiences, digital installations and interactive performances by Goldsmiths staff and students which critically responded to the Horniman’s collections, spaces and history.
(Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths, and Dr Nick Merriman, Chief Executive, Horniman Museum and Gardens)
Saturday’s programme includes performances from the Goldsmiths-based Alchemy Project - the next generation of talented singers, rappers, and musicians from Addey & Stanhope and Deptford Green Secondary Schools.
Throughout the weekend, an interactive sound installation by artist Ambrose Seddon, a composer who focuses on electroacoustic music, will bring the sounds of the local ecosystem into the Horniman’s Natural History Gallery.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens opened in 1901 as a gift to the people in perpetuity from tea trader and philanthropist Frederick John Horniman, to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’. Its galleries include natural history, music and an acclaimed aquarium. A new World Gallery of anthropology opened in June 2018 and a new arts space, The Studio, opened in October 2018. Indoor exhibits link to the award-winning display gardens – from medicinal and dye gardens to an interactive sound garden, Butterfly House and an animal walk – set among 16 acres of beautiful, green space offering spectacular views across London.
Sounds from the Gardens runs from 10.30am - 6.30pm on Saturday 16 and 11 - 5pm on Sunday 17 November.
Being Human – a festival of the humanities – runs from 14-29 November: beinghumanfestival.org