Aerial/Sparks, created by Irish artist Louise Manifold for Galway’s European Capital of Culture 2020, invites you to connect in person and online with one of the last unknown spaces on earth, the ocean wilderness. Seven artists, writers and composers from across Europe have produced a series of compelling standalone artworks for exhibition and radio broadcast, inspired by their experiences of joining research expeditions on board the Marine Institute Ireland’s RV Celtic Explorer.
Louise Manifold, curator of Aerial/Sparks, introduces this project, talks about the artworks inspired by ship life and scientific exploration of the Ocean and presented with Áras Éanna on Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, positioned between the relative calm of Galway Bay and the wild Atlantic.
The link to watch the introduction of Aerial/Sparks will be available close to the meeting date.
Duration: 15 minutes
Aerial/Sparks by Louise Manifold in partnership with the Marine Institute Ireland is presented Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. The artworks below are part of Aerial/Sparks.
East-West: Where Morning is the Sea - Ailís Ní Ríain
A meditation on time spent at sea where music and imagery allude to the grasp of the sea, lives beyond our imagination and the favour of viewpoints. When you are living on a working ship, your cabin - if you do not share one - is your sole place of privacy. Yet, even there, the sounds and movements of your fellow ship crew and scientific colleagues drift in through the slight cabin partitions. Your port-hole becomes your solitary viewpoint to a world where everything often appears to remain the same, for it is always water. I was instantly captivated by the subtle and sometimes violent changes perceivable through this limiting, yet, limitless ‘viewpoint’.
The film is one long take from the port-hole on the RV Celtic Explorer on a sunny August afternoon in 2019. The artist composed the piece to the film’s timeline, closely shaping the sounds in parallel with the visuals. The musical composition includes snippets of hummed songs together with a wide variety of sounds created inside a grand piano – percussion, slides, plucked strings, snippets of melody and keyboard sounds. All sounds – apart from the voice – come from one piano.
The link to watch and listen to East-West: Where Morning is the Sea will be available close to the meeting date.
Duration: 10 minutes
Type: Video and sound composition
Palace of ships — David Stalling
Palace of Ships is an immersive audio-visual soundscape developed between 2018 and 2020 during David Stalling's investigation into the sonic, seismic, and cultural milieu of the Celtic Sea. The work uses field recordings and videos captured during rough seas aboard the RV Celtic Explorer research vessel, as well as seismic data recorded in the Celtic Sea by a large array of 14 ocean bottom seismometers. Making long records of seismic activity audible to the human ear involves manipulating their pitch and duration. In this domain of listening, geological time becomes tangible and the naturally occurring micro seismic tremors and human made sounds take on musical qualities.
In turn, excerpts from the 8th century old Irish poem Anbthine mór ar muig Lir, describing a perilous journey during an ocean storm, are slowed down and become sonic strata of historical artefacts.
The work was realised in collaboration with Prof Sergei Lebedev and Dr Maria Tsekhmistrenko of the Geophysics Section at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. It includes reading of text by Paddy Sammon, based on a pronunciation guide by Prof Liam Mac Mathúna, as well as additional readings and vocalisations by the artist.
The link to watch and listen to Palace of Ships will be available close to the meeting date.
Duration: 10 minutes
Type: Multichannel sound, moving image
Island Time - Kevin Barry
‘Early in the spring morning ... I’ll find myself, sometimes ... kind of becoming an absence to myself ... in a nice way ... and travelling ... travelling far across the fields of the sea.’
Long, long ago, a melancholy lighthouse keeper on Inis Oírr dreams of a different life and of distant lands... and of a woman in Ennistymon.
Island Time is a multi-media monologue with elements both of radio play and digital theatre, a tragi-comic tone, inspired by its unique location, the Inis Oírr lighthouse.
Island Time is written and performed at Inis Oírr Lighthouse by Kevin Barry. Sound design and foley by Jean McGrath and film by Louise Manifold.
The link to watch and listen to Island Time will be available close to the meeting date.
Duration: 10 minutes
Do you want to comment on Aerial/Sparks? We will leave a Zoom meeting open where participants will be able to connect, keeping their mic and camera off while watching Aerial/Sparks on their own computer. Once Aerial/Sparks is over, you will be welcome to join the other participants of the Satellite for a chat.