The Wapping Project – Laura Cannell New Commission for 2019-20

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“Composer and performer Laura Cannell is currently working on a new music album within our former home, the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. This is our final project in response to the iconic building that defined our commissioning for over twenty years. We are saying farewell and taking its unique resonance with us in Laura’s music and our hearts.” THE WAPPING PROJECT

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Beneath London flight paths and alongside the Thames, with freezing breath in a vast space below water level I improvise inside the Power Station. Exploring the Boiler House, Coal Store and Filter House and standing in the centre of the glazed and raw brick walls.

Standing on thresholds in the archways between spaces and under the suspended stairs with low notes and high notes flying. Playing in the moment, bringing myself and no pre-conception, no judgement, allowing the sound to branch off like ancient waterways. Self-sustaining, free flowing and changeable.

Staring through clear glass panes which reflect and return my offerings of string and air uttered from fingers and lungs. Double Recorders, Voice, Violin and the drone of overbow violin fill the space of the cathedral like brick shell. No matter the distance the sound is captured, amplified, resonant and alive, sculpted in the moment.

Surging tonnes of water once powering through London because of the industry inside this space, it is never silent, the sound of a living city occasionally and dramatically entering through porous brick, steel and glass. A proud structure, and an honour to hear it’s responses to my questions.

Laura Cannell, March 2019