Music inspired by hearing loss

PLATFORM 4, coming to Poole’s Lighthouse on Thursday 17th May with two performances of their new work Invisible Music, have put those experiencing hearing loss at the centre of the creative process.

In the company’s first major project since the acclaimed Memory Points, Pete Flood (arranger/percussionist with Bellowhead) and Jules Bushell, Platform 4’s long-term sound designer, have collaborated to create a five-piece band full of acoustic experimental delight.

They describe the performances as  “a concert with a difference and an immersive, celebratory event – think live concept album layered with exquisite audio snippets.”

It has been inspired by interviews  with members of Winchester’s lip-reading group, describing their experiences and stories through a loose narrative of six musical movements. The audience is taken from setting sail into unknown waters, through sinking underwater to surfacing and eventually finding land. Their stories are told via musical instruments and sampled voices.

This is Platform 4’s artistic director, Catherine Church says: “This piece was inspired by my mother, who initially started me thinking about this project because she showed me a poem she had written called ‘Surreal Existence’ about her own experiences of gradually losing her hearing.

“That was the starting point, and from there I started going to Mum’s lip-reading class and meeting more people. I asked myself: Could I make a sound-piece about the loss of sound?”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, says: “We’re delighted to support Platform 4 through our National-Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme to tour Invisible Music. By putting those who experience hearing loss at the centre of the creative process, Platform 4 present a unique and often unexplored perspective which makes a fantastic contribution to the Arts Council’s commitment to embedding and promoting diversity and will ensure more people in more places can experience and be inspired by the arts.”

Platform 4 is an artist-led company that creates playful and unexpected worlds in which performers and participants can explore their creativity and the things that matter to them. The work is highly visual, often intimate in scale and process, connects people and puts human relationships at the heart of the event.

Invisible Music will be performed in Poole at 2pm and again at 8pm in the Sherling Studio. The concert is followed by talks about the work and the processes.

Invisible Music is first performed at the Turner Sims at Southampton University on Monday 14th May.  It’s Autumn shows include Friday 21st September at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis and Friday 5th October at Salisbury Arts Centre.

For more details about the Poole concerts, phone 01202 280000 or visit the website, www.lighthousepoole.co.uk