Last night I visited mac birmingham for Sounding the River ‘a magical journey of sound, light and performance down the River Rea’ to celebrate the art centre’s 50th birthday.
There was a wonderful festival atmosphere, and I enjoyed exploring areas of Cannon Hill Park that I don’t think I had ever been to before. The night was full of intrigue. You couldn’t wait to see what was round the corner. As there are several ‘Zones’ featuring different themes you never got bored as the breadth of work involved is amazing. The sounds and technical aspects are fascinating. I wouldn’t want to spoil the experience for those who plan to go – but I will say that you will see weeing trees, gigantic glowing water drops, electro woodpeckers and kingfishers, birds playing pianos and psychedelic snails…
Looking beyond the the clever performances and installations, the trail accentuates the features of the park – it is a celebration of nature and the River Rea. Lead artist Jony Easterby sees it as ‘a way of exploring [the river’s] unsung beauty, its hidden past and changing ecology by taking artwork out of the doors of mac, and into the surrounding landscape.’ You noticed the beautiful flatness of the Rea juxtaposed with the turbulent waters when it hit a weir. Lights up-lit trees to made you study their form in a different way.
Sounding the River continues every evening until Sunday. I wish it was on for longer as I would definitely visit again.