Melissa Bradshaw

Guildhall School of Music & Drama to compose new music for the Thames Bridges

12:15, 18th July 2019

Composers from Guildhall School of Music & Drama have been commissioned by Illuminated River Foundation to compose and record new music for the first phase of the public art commission that will eventually see up to 15 bridges lit along the River Thames.

The Illuminated River Foundation has led a team consisting of artist Leo Villareal and architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to create Illuminated River. The first four bridges – London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium – were illuminated last night (Wednesday 17 July) and once complete, Illuminate River is expected to be the longest public art installation in the world.

Composers from both the Composition and Electronic Music departments at Guildhall have created original scores inspired by the context and architecture of the first four bridges, as well as Villareal’s artwork. Professional musicians of the Guildhall Session Orchestra have recorded the compositions, which can be listened to and downloaded for free online.

On Wednesday 31 July 2019 in a free open area performance at The Scoop on the banks of the Thames, the music will be performed. Later in the year the compositions will also be showcased in concert at Guildhall School’s Milton Court Concert Hall on Tuesday 24 September. A free display at the Guildhall Art Gallery will feature the compositions alongside historic Thames paintings and visualisations of the project until Sunday 1 September.

Illuminated River will produce audio descriptions of the artwork for each bridge with the help of Vocal Eyes, available for free online in order to enable those who are blind or partially sighted to experience the artwork in a different way.


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