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Frome meets Fanny in Sounds of the City

The Frome area is represented at this year’s Fringe Arts Bath festival which runs from 22nd May to 7th June at various venues across the city.

One of the more unusual contributions is from Rode resident, Nick St George, who has created a piece of sound art as part of the ‘Quiet Street’ installation in New Bond Street Place. Nick says: “Sound art is something of a new kid on the block in the art world, not yet having entered the public consciousness like painting, sculpture and photography. Hopefully this exhibition will go some way to remedying that. Although I’ve worked in radio all my life, this is my first foray into this field and I’m delighted the piece has been selected for the show”

Quiet Street has been curated by Cities and Memory who made field recordings at various locations around Bath and then invited artists to “re-imagine” the original sounds. Nick chose a recording of the interior of the Walcot Chapel – not much to hear there, you might think: a slamming door, some traffic noise, the odd squawking gull… But Nick was inspired. “I did a bit of research and discovered that the writer, Fanny Burney, died in 1840 and was originally buried in the cemetery at Walcot. So I took her as my starting point”. In ‘Fanny Burney RIP’ Frome Drama Club star, Tina Waller, plays Fanny, reading extracts from her diaries, while Nick also quotes from the Burney memorial in St Swithin’s. And there are hints of some of the music the author may have known.

Nick, who is Head of Training at Frome-FM, explains how visitors to the exhibition will experience the sounds: “You’ll be able to switch between the field recordings and the re-imaginings, thus hearing both the raw material and the final work. Whether you were an Impressionist painter in the 19th century or are a sound artist working in 2015, art has always been about getting people to look at (or listen to!) the world in a slightly different way. Here’s hoping ‘Fanny Burney RIP’ and ‘Quiet Street’ will do just that”.

‘Quiet Street’ (Seeing Sound From Inside Out) runs at FAB2, 8-9 New Bond Street Place, Bath from 22nd May to 7th June (10am – 6pm every day). It can also be heard online at http://citiesandmemory.com/quietstreet.

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