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The Star and the Glow Worm (2015)

The Star and the Glow Worm is a live work commissioned by AIR, Central Saint Martins as part of the Unannounced Acts programme in Granary Square, Kings Cross. It was performed between 4.12am and 5.03am - the dawn ‘magic hour’ - on the 18th May 2015, and takes as its prompt a poem by William Wordsworth, The Pilgrim's Dream; or, The Star and the Glow Worm (1818), in which a pilgrim, sleeping beneath the cover of a tree, falls into a “soft and slumbrous dream” where a star in the night-sky and glow-worm in the nook of the tree converse. The poem consists of nine stanzas, and was set to a score by composer Leo Chadburn, that made subtle reference to the medieval polyphony of Machaut and Pérotin. It was sung by five performers, who moved through the square over the course of 37 minutes, as the natural light shifted from ‘civil twilight’ to sunrise. Each performer was illuminated by a small reading light, attached to their script, so that they themselves became bioluminescent organisms.

The work develops out of research around the invisible labour of the night-shift, and circadian rhythms reconfigured within contemporary technological culture.

Response text by Mary Paterson

Unannounced Acts review by Larne Abse Gogarty in Art Monthly

FOOTNOTES

The Star and the Glow Worm (2015), 37 minutes, performance with five performers. Composer: Leo Chadburn; Performers: Leo Chadburn, Rose Dagul, Katherine Evans, Richard Leigh, Veronika Szabó; Thanks to: Phil Coy, Jake Rees, Tilly Fowler, Anna Hart. Commissioned by AIR Central Saint Martins as part of Unannounced Acts of Publicness, ten artworks on ten days in Granary Square, Kings Cross during May 2015. The acts were announced on 1 June 2015. Images: documentation, Granary Square, London, 18 May 2015. Photos: Antonio Sansica

 
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