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Foghorn Requiem - Here's Something You Won't See (or Hear) Every Day!

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 16th May 2013 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe
Residents of the North East will be treated to a unique theatrical performance off the shores of South Shields in June.

Souter LighthouseThis summer Souter lighthouse, at South Shields - the first lighthouse in the world to be powered by electricity - is to provide the backdrop for a unique, musical world-first in celebration of the foghorn.

Used for centuries to guide ships away from the rocks, foghorns across the country are gradually being decommissioned as vessels rely increasingly on satellite navigation systems.

On Saturday June 22, at 12 the foghorn at Souter Lighthouse will take the lead in an ambitious, specially-composed Foghorn Requiem, written by celebrated British composer Orlando Gough.

The Requiem will be performed with the backing of three North East brass bands and vessels of all shapes and sizes will anchor off the coast and sound their horns to a musical score that will take into account climatic conditions, the landscape and distance from the shore.

It will be a unique event as it is not only the first musical score created for foghorns but it will also use pioneering technology to conduct and control ships horns from afar.

The free event will be the highlight of a month-long Festival of the North East initiated by musician Kathryn Tickell to celebrate and raise awareness of the social and cultural heritage of the region.

The Foghorn Requiem has been commissioned by South Tyneside Council and the National Trust, which took over the running of Souter following its decommissioning in 1988.

The project has secured funding from Arts Council England, Danish Arts Council and the Festival of the North East.

Further information about the Foghorn Requiem can be found at

www.foghornrequiem.org and details about events and activities in South Tyneside this summer can be obtained at www.southtyneside.info.

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