Posted: 16 July 2012
In just a few days' time, a major installation of poetry on the River Thames will be launched to coincide with the Olympic festivities, a full-immersion poetic experience that is stirring and original. From 27 July onwards, for 7 weeks, a vast interactive soundscape written by award-winning poet Mario Petrucci (and designed by Martyn Ware / David Bickerstaff) will span the Millennium bridge from the early hours of each day till 10pm. Also, at the start of each hour, an invisible 3,746-voice strong choir from 73 countries performs ‘Water Night’ written by Grammy-winning composer, Eric Whitacre, based on a short poem by Octavio Paz.
You can listen to the interactive 3D piece on the Bridge itself, or you may access this link for a simpler stereo version: http://snd.sc/OcMmQo
The soundscape is built around a haunting score composed by Martyn Ware [formerly of the Human League] and a long commissioned poetry script for two voices, written by Mario Petrucci. This poem explores the role of the Thames as the lyrical and gritty heart of the city, quoting freely from such authors as Shakespeare, Pepys, Dickens, TS Eliot and Lao Tzu. It incorporates the history, geology, function and literary associations of the river, bringing to life the full breadth of its metaphorical and allusive potencies.
The text and music combine beautifully to generate a sense of the long presence of the river, from its geological origins, via Roman and Viking occupation, through war and struggle, to its contemporary role as adjunct to one of the most enduring financial and cultural hubs of the world. This historic project is already gaining international coverage and represents a landmark moment for public poetry in London. If you need further information, please either access the press release here: http://illustriouscompany.co.uk/news/2012
or the author's website: http://www.mariopetrucci.com/TFTB-Olympics2012.htm where a script for the poem can be found.