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Nattsong - live art event by Caroline Bergvall at Turner Contemporary

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Turner Contemporary

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Margate

CT9 1HG

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Book a free ticket to attend Nattsong - a new multi-sensory stage work by Caroline Bergvall taking place at Turner Contemporary in Margate.

About this event

Nattsong is an extraordinary new multi-sensory stage work in which poet–performer Caroline Bergvall takes an immersive journey into language, refuge and the night. Fusing words and music, poetry and performance, songwork and electronic projections into a singular, dreamlike and mesmerising whole. Nattsong is both personal and political – at once an immersive performance and, where feasible, a sound installation for multiple languages.

Created and performed by Bergvall with unique contributions from composer Gavin Bryars, soprano Peyee Chen, sound designer Jamie Hamilton, film-maker Andrew Delaney and a brilliant creative team, Nattsong is the final stand-alone part of a searching and singular trilogy around languages and poetries in movement and migration, sung, spoken, recorded, that began with Ragadawn (2016), staged at daybreak in locations as diverse as Marseille and the Isle of Skye, continued with Conference of the Birds (2018), and now closing with this rich nocturnal call, premiering at Turner Contemporary overlooking the sea.

The word ‘natt’ in the title is Norwegian for night and carries the same ancient root as its English counterpart. It also calls up Nótt, the personification of night and powerful dream goddess of Norse mythology. The text is in part inspired by the Nordic poetic creation myth Voluspå, spoken by the seeress Volve at the start and end of times.

Language and languages, speech and song, breath patterns and electronic frequencies are all at work in Bergvall's mesmerising and unique poetic variations. They seek to foster a renewed understanding and enjoyment of the deep connections and richness of our multilingual world, and to advocate ancient and new routes of transmitted speech and song for a multilingual and post-national time.

It is a multi-layered show in which words rise, fall, get lost, re-emerge in large waves of sound and image, and take on the weight of new meanings and old complicities as they pass from speaker to listener to elemental landscapes.

Exploring how words live in perpetual migration, Nattsong finds new resonances in ancient tongues, and draws on the nomadic histories and ancient multilingual routes of medieval love poetry, as well as prophetic nordic texts, and represents them against our current political backdrop of divisiveness, isolation and social and environmental imbalance.

Nattsong is the final creation of Bergvall's five year long Sonic Atlas cycle dedicated to sounding multiple languages, and ancient migratory poetries, in unusual transformative landscapes and settings. A cycle of works, performances and explorations written and created for spoken and sung voices, breath patterns, minorised or prejudiced languages, in and out of times that stretch from dawn to night. They form companion pieces, taking place at sunrise, at night, one outdoors, one indoors, different dream-times and processes of ancient reconnection with stories and landscapes. The performances all share materials and multilingual concerns developed through travels with speakers of a range of minority languages (both ancient pre-European languages and more newly settled languages). In a sense it could be seen to be an extension of Ragadawn, a different dream-time and reconnection in the unfolding stories of these languages, and the listeners caught in their surf.

The performance is free but ticketed as seating is limited.

Nattsong has been commissioned by Cement Fields for Estuary 2021 and is supported by Arts Council England, Rivers Institute and Prototype Press.

Find out more at estuaryfestival.com and carolinebergvall.com

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Date and time

Location

Turner Contemporary

Rendezvous

Margate

CT9 1HG

United Kingdom

View Map

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Organiser Estuary 2021

Organiser of Nattsong - live art event by Caroline Bergvall at Turner Contemporary

Estuary 2021 is the second edition of the large-scale arts festival that celebrates the lives, landscapes and histories of the spectacular Thames Estuary.

A mix of large scale and intimate visual art, literature, music and film, the festival celebrates culture, creativity, recovery and renewal. Alongside an online discussion and events programme, the physical programme will explore and respond to powerful themes resonant to the Estuary, from the climate, to rebellion and imperial legacy. Re-framed in light of Covid-19, the festival invites visitors to take an epic walk along the stunning coastline of South Essex and North Kent encountering contemporary artworks and performance within the estuary landscape, historic sites and coastal towns.

Estuary 2021 is led by a partnership between estuary-based arts organisations, Metal (South Essex) and Cement Fields (North Kent).

www.estuaryfestival.com

@EstuaryFestival

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