Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘live’

Celebrating Disruption – Article from the Mystery Plays Programme

First published in the York Mystery Plays 2014 programme…
‘For too long we’ve been too apologetic’ … This was the frame of mind I was in when we started planning our route through the city and the playing stations for the 2014 Mystery Plays.

In my early years as event producer I was often approached to ‘help make things happen’, this request came often from projects facing objections, and in a position of limited resources and with complications that meant i had to carefully balance the needs and aspirations of the project with the potential impact on the location and the (often reluctant) stakeholders involved.

Now that i’m a lot older and a little bit wiser I find myself becoming a little bit more ‘bullish’ about the importance of certain projects balanced against the minor disruptions that they cause – in some cases, like the Mystery Plays, I even feel that perhaps we should be celebrating that ‘disruption’.

York mystery plays come in many formats, they are not ‘owned’ by anybody but by the same measure are owned by everybody.

In 2012 a new large-scale staging of the plays took place in the modern tradition and context in the museum gardens. That concentration of activity and the scale brought visual spectacle and impact, though there was nothing to see beyond the bound of the museum gardens a buzz resonating around the city – something significant was happening. Something that everyone had a stake in.

The medieval tradition of the plays on the wagons being celebrated this year – is a certainly a more ‘distributed’ approach in its planning and preparation and in its final realisation – The effort and the energy put into producing plays happens behind closed doors in schools, the university, church halls, farmers barn and in unusual uncharted corners of the city – wherever people can find space to rehearse their scene and build their set. A ‘community of communities’ bringing forth the plays.

There is no pomp and ceremony in the months in the running-up to the plays, no yellow bikes lining routes or knitted bunting hanging in the trees – but on the day, the tens of thousands of people that engage with the pageantry of the plays as the move from location to location or that sit and watch at the playing stations are seeing something unique – something that not only that makes York distinctive and engaging as a tourist experience, but also speaks of the commitment and enthusiasm of the communities in York – which makes it a compelling place to live and to work.

In the last year we’ve seen the city centre of York in upheaval as major ‘essential works’ were carried out securing gas supplies for the city – Roads were closed, areas cordoned off and peoples work and life inconvenienced, but it passed and life carried on as normal.

It is probably glib to make the comparison and to say that the opportunity to engage in a city wide civic expression of our cultural heritage and our creative distinctiveness is as important as a reliable and safe gas mains supply – but it could be argued that the as York Cycle of Mystery Plays capture peoples hearts and minds, embedded as part of the fabric of the city – the disruption caused by these ‘essential works’ is a small price to pay.

 

Ben Pugh – 13/07/2014

The new Purple Guide is now online

Event organisers will be (or at least should be) very familiar with the Purple Guide – it has provided guidance across a range of subjects from crowd management to fireworks, medical provision to waste management, and so on, since 1993.

Over the last couple of years the HSE have undergone consultation with industry practitioners and have together drawn up a new version.

The new Purple Guide is available now (in draft) online:

**UPDATE – the draft version online is closed now ** (01/2014)

www.thepurpleguide.co.uk 

From the site:

“The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events (Draft) has been drawn up by the Events Industry Forum in consultation with the UK events industry, including representatives from regional and national Government. This publication is designed to replace the original ‘Purple Guide’ (HSG195) which was originally published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in consultation with the industry.

 Covering both legislation and good practice, this new guide has been designed to sign-post event organisers and suppliers to the practices and issues that need to be considered when events are being organised. The contents are not designed to be prescriptive and those using this guidance should undertake appropriate risk assessments and evaluations to evaluate the specific requirements of the specific events they are organising or involved with.”

Illuminating York 2013 – Call for new works

The Illuminating York Committee have just issued the call for works for the 2013 festival.

If you are interested take a look at the downloads below.

There is one call for major commissions and one for smaller works.

IY 2013 Supporting Commissions

IY 2013 Major Commission

In a nutshell:

DEADLINE: 1 March 2013

Introduction: Illuminating York is a cutting edge light based Festival which has been running annually, in the City of York, for the last nine years. During that time the Festival has commissioned major international works for the Minster, Museum Gardens and other sites within the city walls. Previously commissioned artists include Patrice Warrener, Paul Kaiser (Open Ended Group), Usman Haque, Bright White, United VJs, OMA International, Vic Reeves, GaiaNova and Ross Ashton amongst others.

In recent years the Festival has attracted between 20,000 – 75,000 visitors, residents and tourists per year and brought over £1 million annual economic benefit into the city.

The Festival has enjoyed a broad range of media coverage over the years and reaches all corners of the globe from Canada to Australia and Europe. In 2012 the Festival introduced a small charge for audiences to view the main commission and with an 80-100% capacity each night, we intend to continue this model for parts of the Festival in 2013.

The theme of this year’s Festival is ‘Illuminating the Past, Enlightening the Future.’ It is 1000 years since King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark was named king of England in 1013. Incoming communities and cultures have played an important role in the development of York as a City. York has deep and strong links to its Viking heritage in particular and the waves of invasions that York has experienced over the years, which has created a vibrant city with a rich and varied culture.

We are interested in artwork that investigates the Scandinavian influences on York’s heritage and on the city today. This could be through art, clothing, food, technology, people and politics or other cultural interventions.

Several of our key attractions are planning exhibitions and events that celebrate this aspect of our history and culture and you may like to consider incorporating some time for research and development in your expression of interest.

We are in the process of applying for funding for the 2013 Festival and the Festival will take place from 30th October – 2nd November inclusive.

Artworks will also be expected to be fully operational for the press launch on Tuesday 29th October.

We are interested in small to medium-scale outdoor work that shows York in a new light.

The work must be visually appealing to audiences of all ages. We are looking for several supporting commissions that together, will achieve regional and national press coverage for the city.

Recording sessions offer at the NCEM York

As part of my work with the National Centre for Early Music in York we are opening the doors and encourage more people to come in to use the lovely, inspiring, bright, airy space.

One of the uses of the venue that suits really well – with its lovely acoustics, sound proofing and studio facilities is recording sessions (either studio style or with a small live audience.)

From Jan to March 2013 NCEM is offering a 30% its day rate (info below.)

Having used the space myself for recording projects i’d happily chat through the potential in the space but it is certainly well worth a look!

 

From the NCEM promo:

As we sink into the winter months The National Centre for Early Music has a warming offer on recording sessions at our beautiful St. Margaret’s Church in York: 30% off the standard hire day rate on any booking taking place until 31st of March 2013. www.ncem.co.uk/recordings

Together with the stunning natural acoustics of this inspiring space, few other medieval churches could offer such a warm welcome at this time of year. Renovated to an exceptional standard in 2000, the space boasts triple glazing, silent under floor heating, dedicated artists facilities, soundproofing and acoustic treatment to tailor your sound.

As a concert venue for 180 people the space suits more intimate ensembles perfectly. Either for live recordings or for studio sessions the space adapts well and allows you to shut out the world and focus on creating beautiful work.

With a range of well maintained early music keyboard instruments – see www.ncem.co.uk/instrument-hire for details; there is little to complicate your time or arrangements. We are able to offer a range of support services too from session engineers to catering and accommodation.

The venue is well used by a wide variety of early music specialists (as well as jazz, folk and contemporary musicians) and recordings this past year include John Potter and Christopher O’Gorman (Hyperion) and Profeti della Quinta – winners of the 2011 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (Linn).

BBC Radio 3 use the NCEM to broadcast live their annual Early Music Show from York and artists recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast in 2012 include countertenor Iestyn Davies, Phantasm, Gallicantus with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny with artists for 2013 already booked to include Paul O’Dette, Ensemble Medusa with Patrizia Bovi and Fabio Bonizonni.

The BBC Music Magazine’s review of John Potter & Christopher O’Gormans ‘Conductus – Music and Poetry from Thirteenth Century France’ Recording (autumn 2012) gives great testament to the value of the church here at the NCEM:

‘Conductus proves that ascetic simplicity can be as deeply moving and aesthetically breath-taking as the most complex, heart-on-sleeve music … It’s hardly necessary to mention that the performances are superb, their precise diction well-served by Jeremy Summerly’s production and Julian Millard’s engineering. The sound is intimate yet resonant, closely-focused and detailed yet with an ambience vividly suggesting spaciousness’ (BBC Music Magazine)

 If you’d like to take advantage of our 30% discount on our daily hire rate (reducing the venue fees to £280 +VAT!) do please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. Contact: gill.baldwin@ncem.co.uk or 01904 632220.

www.ncem.co.uk/recordings