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Langtree Park, home of the St.Helens R.F.C. hosted an evening of musical reflection and visual art in an event linked to the anniversary of the World War 1 Christmas Truce of 1914 titled Silent Night / ‘And, on that note’. Produced by Heart of Glass in collaboration with Saints Community Development Foundation and St.Helens Music Service, the evening was symbolic of our desire to create unique arts experiences by fusing disciplines and initiating collaborations; making bold new work.
The much written about ‘truce’, a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires, took place along the Western Front throughout the weeks before Christmas 1914. This act of collective solidarity against a backdrop of conflict and tragedy inspired a special evening of events when for one evening we brought together school, church and community choirs from across the borough, forming a mass choir of some 500+ local singers to perform a specially selected series of hymns and Christmas classics backed by a local brass band.
Artist Rhona Byrne created a visual intervention for the evening combining the choral voices with sculpture, performance, and audience participation. Her work, ‘And, on that note’ considered moments of transition, states of uncertainty, in between private thought and public behaviour. Locally based artists, volunteers and students from St. Helens College and Carmel College collaborated with Rhona in the making of the event.
A Moving threshold, a fabric sculpture for which performers provided a flexible frame, greeted the audience as they entered the Arena. The choir reformed as an Emotional Choir with a series of experimental choral interludes exploring laughter and obsession. A carpeted Landmass sat still in the darkness of the arena’s pitch until it rumbled and fell apart. A mass of Moving Sculptures of boulders and black clouds negotiated the terrain.
The works in ‘And, on that note’ represented individual and collective endurance – the patterns within the moments of exertion where action, feeling and meaning become one. Each element considered the ‘self’ during moments of human interaction and gathering, reflecting on the desires and tensions between isolation, connection and unity that this presents.
For more information about Artist Rhona Byrne visit www.rhonabyrne.com