Finding out about the sounds of Ghost Cinemas

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to composer Liz Lane about bringing the ambient sound of old cinemas back to life with Steven Mead and a Wurley Bird...

  The music records the sounds of old cinemas even in their new uses... (copyright image)

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Composers Liz Lane and Mark Vasey have been exploring the ghost cinemas of Bristol, whose buildings now have other uses, including warehouses, pubs, supermarkets and a climbing centre.

The new 30 minute work, 'Ghost Cinemas' features music by Liz Lane and 'Wurley Bird' soundscapes by Mark Vasey; euphonium (Steven Mead); Bollywood inspired melodies and voice (Dildar Singh); poems and narration (Ronald Brooks); mandolin and voice/guitar [Nick and Imralis — Redpoint Bristol].

Wurley Bird

The 'Wurley Bird' uses spinning sensors that can see ambient light to control parameters of a synthesiser by scanning the environment; once it is controlling the synth it can start to generate and influence its own compositions or modulate existing recordings.

Liz talks to 4BR about the project which is part of 'Opening Up the Magic Box', a heritage element of Film 2021 which marks the centenary of the death of Bristol-born film pioneer William Friese-Greene and the 125th anniversary of the first public cinema screening in Bristol.


The premiere takes place on Saturday 16th October at the Redpoint Climbing Centre (itself an old cinema) in Bristol (BS3 2NW) starting at 7.00pm.

To find out more go to: https://www.bristolideas.co.uk/attend/ghost-cinemas/

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