'Alien symphony' of sonic sculptures comes to Coventry

'Alien symphony' of sonic sculptures comes to Coventry

The sonic sculptures of Ray Lee's Chorus in full swing.

University news

Wednesday 14 October 2015

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Free public performances of an acclaimed futuristic sound show are taking place at Coventry University next week.

The University is playing host to award-winning ‘sonic artist’ and composer Ray Lee’s celebrated musical installation Chorus. Performances take place in University Square opposite Coventry Cathedral at various times on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October. 

Looking and sounding like something from a science-fiction film set, Lee’s Chorus is made up of a series of remote controlled tripod-shaped structures that produce music through motion. 

Standing an imposing five metres tall, the monumental metal sculptures have rotating arms that create a harmonious siren-like sound as they spin around. Flashing red lights attached to the end of the arms add a colourful optical dimension to the piece. Exploring aural, visual and physical forces, Chorus combines sight, sound and movement into a spellbinding sensory experience.

A big hit with audiences in the UK and overseas, Chorus has been presented at major musical events including the 2014 WOMAD (World of Music, Art and Dance) Festival and this year’s Warsaw Contemporary Music Festival.  The production comes to Coventry as part of the University’s 2015 INTIME Symposium – a two-day conference that brings artists and academics together to discuss, practice and perform experimental music. Chorus creator Ray Lee is a keynote speaker at the Symposium. 

Tom Williams, principal lecturer in music composition at Coventry University, said:

We’re delighted to have Ray Lee here in Coventry and I’d urge people to come along to see and hear his Chorus. It’s simply an awesome spectacle.

Chorus looks and sounds extraordinary. It’s compelling because of its giant scale - people who have visited the work in the past have described the tripods as like something out of ‘The War of the Worlds!‘Others have described the music itself as sounding like the work of an ‘alien symphony’ and it certainly does have an enchanting, otherworldly feel to it. The movement of the machines creates an extraordinary sonic effect as if the sound is being literally spun around the listener.

I think Chorus is a wonderful audio-visual experience and I’m sure audiences in Coventry will really enjoy it.

Performances of Ray Lee’s Chorus take place in University Square at 6pm and 8pm on Friday 23rd of October and continuously throughout 1pm to 3pm and at 6pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 24th of October. Performances last for thirty minutes and are free to attend. 

The annual INTIME Symposium takes place at the Ellen Terry Building at Coventry University on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of October. 

Ray Lee
Ray Lee is fascinated with what happens when sound moves. He creates spinning, whirling and pendulous sound installations/performances that explore 'circles of ether'; the invisible forces that surround us. His large scale works have been toured to more than twenty different countries across three continents and have won numerous awards including at Ars Electronica and the British Composer Awards, Sonic Arts Category.

Landscapes and environments: experimentation and transformation in sound and music
The annual INTIME Symposium is a two-day symposium of papers and performances hosted by the INTIME music research group at Coventry University. The Symposium seeks to discuss and theorise on current practice in experimental music. It aims to deepen understanding of existing and emerging repertoires and practices.Further information about the Symposium is available on this webpage.