3​.​1 Bronze Lands (Tailte Cré​-​Umha) - Live at Sydney Festival 2020 [Part I - VI]

from Beyond Enclosures (3 album set) by Robert Curgenven



Full live concert recording of the Australian premiere of Bronze Lands (Tailte Cré-Umha) for Sydney Festival on the 64ft Sydney Town Hall grand pipe organ with in-house soundsystem featuring twelve 18" subwoofers.


Performed before a live audience at the sold-out Sydney Festival event, 300 people lying down and 300 more seated upstairs, in the 80metre long Centennial Hall before the 64ft grand pipe organ (20metres high by 30metres wide).

Bronze Lands (Tailte Cré-Umha) is a solo performance for live pipe organ and soundsystem, the accompanying soundsystem part using recordings a range of turn-of-the-century unmodernised pipe organs across County Cork and rural Cornwall.

The piece combines live pipe organ with a soundsystem which allows audiences to hear two pipe organs together - each in different tunings - effectively a piece for 4 hands (and feet), sounding together to create a physical and architectural experience. The live part on the venue’s pipe organ in standard tuning works with and against the part heard through the soundsystem. The soundystem part comprises tracker-action pipe organ recordings made in Cornwall and Ireland. These unmodernised pipe organs allow precise control over wind to the pipes - effectively creating custom-tunings. Curgenven's composition extends standard practice, combining these two tuning systems, rigorously working across their enharmonic beating frequencies to find a momentuous solution.The recording is 100% acoustic, all sound is entirely made by these pipe organs, with the exception of an 80-year-old 78rpm acetate which forms part of the piece's narrative structure.


from Beyond Enclosures (3 album set), released September 17, 2021
Mastered by Antti Sakari Saario, Cornwall, 27-30 June 2021

Recorded Fields Editions | RFE08 | CD

Pipe organ performance & composition: Robert Curgenven

Registrations - Stop development & STH performance: Grace Chan (Organist Registrant)

Mixed at Gorumna Island, Connemara, Ireland (August 2020-June 2021)

Thanks to: Sydney Festival & Sydney Town Hall teams, Kat Anastasiou-Bell, Nathan Da Cunha, Kat McDowall, City of Sydney

Cover photo: Erin Keys

The basis for the piece's score and structure draws on Ireland’s relations with Cornwall and Mediterranean Europe. 5000 years ago, coming into the Bronze Age, Ireland’s copper and Cornwall’s tin traversed the continent to make bronze. Tailte Cré-Umha derives the shape and movement of the score from the shape and movements of that route. This route traverses mostly marine, coastal and river systems, covering 4000kms over the piece’s 50minute duration. Tailte Cré-Umha uses this navigation of the landscape itself as the score as those people and materials travel land, sea, sky and Europe at a time of change.


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Robert Curgenven

Curgenven's work emphasizes physicality, our embodied response to sound & its relation to location, air, weather & architecture; including works produced for National Gallery of Australia, Palazzo Grassi Venice, Sydney Festival, Maerzmusik & Transmediale Berlin. The Wire (UK) surmises “behind the music lurk such [disparate] presences as Alvin Lucier, King Tubby, Murray Schafer and Eliane Radigue.” ... more

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