Obscurity

2009

A composite image of the Peter Harrison Planetarium cone

A site specific outdoor promenade performance involving story telling, live music, visual art and a 16 speaker spatialised sound scape performed at Greenwich and Trafalgar Square.

Obscurity at Greenwich + Docklands International Festival June 2009.

Extant was commissioned by Greenwich and Docklands International Festival to create our first outdoor performance.

An Asian man playing viola with the cone in the background and audience gathered around.

 

A really interesting insight to the ancient story of the blind man and the elephant. Thank you J

An Indian man playing sitar with audience gathered around him

 

Baluji Shrivastav sitar player in Obscurity.

I loved the way the music worked in this piece…!

A black woman and white man under an umbrella with a big cone in the background.

 

Performer Margo Cargil, the bronze cone and the art work in Obscurity.

It was the most elegantly constructed piece of work!

Obscurity was a 30-minute site-specific dramatic tour around the large bronze cone roof of the Peter Harrison Planetarium, near the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

An East Asian man holding his viola under an umbrella held up by his access worker.

 

I was very impressed with all the events I attended and incredibly impressed that they were all free. I very much enjoyed the festival.

An East Asian man playing viola with audience around him and umbrella over him

 

Takashi Kakuchi viola player in Obscurity.

I was so moved… The performance and what it was saying brought tears to my eyes

Image of Liam and the cone/audience

Performer Liam O’Carroll standing amongst the audience during the performance.

The way the sound worked outside was incredible! I loved it and want to have a recording of the show!

A white male talking into microphone, accompanied by a white woman. They are standing underneath an umbrella.

 

Obscurity featured a 16-speaker spatialised sound design, and blended an exciting mix of performance, live music, visual art and experimental description to tell a story of the unobservable, of fragments, and the whole.

A black woman speaks into a microphone and looks towards the audience

 

Performer Margo Cargil interacting with microphone and audience member during the show.

I loved the way the audience’s words were fed back into the sound-scape… very imaginative and I wanted more of this…

Simply brilliant – eerie, playful, exuberant. We came to North Greenwich to see Obscurity. What a treat – absolutely phenomenal.

Creative, high calibre performances. Lovely to see lots of people from different backgrounds enjoying the shows. Great day out.

Fantastic fun day with superb access for all us deaf, blind and wheelchair users, and the able-bodies too…

Thank you for the festival! I enjoyed everything about it, the single performances and the whole atmosphere. Spent a lovely day going round and to be taken away by the shows.

A low angle shot of a black woman speaking into a microphone next to a white man holding an umbrella over their heads, with a giant cone in the background.

 

Weather terrible – rain and storm but a fantastic up-lifting experience, the performers were fantastic. This is the best festival I have attended, my daughter loved it.

A black woman speaks to the audience, her hands clenched and held at her chest.

 

Am a visitor from Sydney, Australia. Visited the museum, old naval college and observatory in the afternoon and then attended the performance in the evening. It was excellent, very evocative of the Thames trip we had taken there.

Two people hold a large semi transparent screen. The outline of a woman can be seen on the other side, where she is crouching and drawing.

 

3 actors behind the translucent screen showing the final art work of the cone, an elephant and clouds.

Hearing people describing the images as they were being drawn through the show was very helpful to me not being able to see them. The audience participation confirmed the point of the story, few if any of us see the bigger picture. It was very clear communication that exposed individuals subjectively. Great festival! This year was very special! Congratulations! I thoroughly enjoyed all the performances I attended. There were plenty of staff to direct us to the venues… very helpful and friendly. I loved it all. Absolutely brilliant, Never seen anything like it. Will definitely go again. I just wanted to say that I’m impressed with the whole festival! And I can’t believe that it’s all for free. Wow! Thank you so much and I’m sure this is a brilliant way of bringing the communities together!

Performances were on Saturday 27 June at 6pm and 8.30pm.

Also Sunday 28 June at 1.30pm and 5pm.

Admission FREE.

The Royal Observatory, Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ http://www.nmm.ac.uk/places/royal-observatory/

Conceived, written and directed by Maria Oshodi, Artistic Director of Extant, Sound Design by Braunarts, Live music from Baluji Shriverstaf and Takashi Kikuchi, visual art work by Sally Booth.

Conceived, written and directed by Maria Oshodi

Maria Oshodi is the Artistic Director of Extant.

Sound Design by Braunarts

Braunarts is a BAFTA award-winning digital arts and media production company that explores art, science and culture in innovative ways. Braunarts also work as creative consultants for clients in the arts, culture and heritage sectors. Terry Braun’s digital art and multimedia experience includes a wide spectrum of installations for museums and galleries and large-scale video projections and audio installations for dance and music performances in theatres and public spaces. www.braunarts.com

Music by Baluji Shrivastav

Baluji is an internationally renowned musician and composer. He plays the sitar, surbahar, dilruba, pakhavaj and tabla, and is a master multi-instrumentalist of Hindustani classical music. Baluji has worked with some of the greatest tabla accompanists, including Anindo Chatterji and Ustad Fayaz Kahn, and composed and played for Indian classical and contemporary dancers, in particular Akram Khan. Baluji has also worked with western artists like Massive Attack, Future Sound of London, Andy Sheppard and Guy Barker. www.baluji.com

Visual art work by Sally Booth

Sally Booth is a visual artist specialising in drawing and painting. She completed a BA and MA in Fine Art at Bristol and Wimbledon Schools of Art. She has exhibited her work at South Bank Centre, Whitechapel Art Gallery and Sadlers Wells, and is much influenced by her recent touring exhibition to Japan. Awarded the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary 2009, Sally enjoyed a residency this year at The Bluecoat and advice from Tate Liverpool. www.sallybooth.co.uk

Music also by Takashi Kikuchi

Takashi Kikuchi trained at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he achieved the Lawson Award. Since 2007 he has given recitals for the Treasury Music Society in Whitehall, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Handel House Museum. Distinguished composer, Frank Stiles, recently dedicated his sonata for viola and piano to Takashi.

Performers

Performers are Margo Cargil, Tim Gebbels and Liam O’Carroll.

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, 25 – 28 June 2009

Ambitious and free

The Sunday Times

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival returns with a water-themed programme for 2009. The story of Greenwich and Docklands has been shaped and defined by water and, using this inspiration, the Festival will commission and present a range of extraordinary UK and international artists to provide a visionary water-based interpretation of the area. Highlights will include a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Baroque composer Handel with an outdoor son et lumière inspired by the Thames entitled Water Music, as well as the UK premiere of French company Ilotopie’s Fous de Bassin, a poetic spectacle in which the performers will literally walk on water.

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