Hello, a bit of background so we are on the same page…..KlangHaus is a hybrid theatre/music/art performance team fusing sound, light, songs, projected films and immersive performance in hidden architectural spaces. With over 90 sell-out shows at Southbank London, from our experience, we believe that immersive musical experiences, forge strong bonds between performers and audience, creating a sense of instant community and transformation. Could we inspire behaviour change?
Working with UCL and UEA academics, we will create an immersive experience, that is imbued with hooks to unpick cognitive dissonance between what we do on a daily basis and what we think/know about the climate crisis. Delivered by music and human interaction and connection.
We aim to take the show to CoP26 in Glasgow, Nov 2020. If the academics and path we find ourselves on take us to another destination, as long as the work speaks and reaches folks in a connecting way, that’s fine by us. I have a habit of nailing my outcomes down and forging to that one goal. I’m learning to be flexible and responsive. I have a bursary from A-N to travel to Glasgow for meetings to get CoP26 KlangHaus moving. A huge thanks to A-N. Very excited.
Firstly, thanks to artist Janine Everitt for the kind permission to use her image ‘Unbound’ which shouted KlangHaus Darkroom to me since I first caught sight of it….it made me gasp.
Well, what a journey! We are taking our environmental show, Darkroom to COP26 in Glasgow. For three years we have been planning and trying different routes through various funders: the government route, Arts Council, Creative Scotland, UCL, university research funds. The last ‘no’ came on Monday 18th October. Most of the ‘no’s came with a ‘Sorry, our hands are tied, but you must try and get to COP’. We turned to the Norwich Arts Centre, who had been waiting in the wings to supplement a bigger funder….we both said ‘Let’s just do it!’
We will be performing at Listen Gallery in Glasgow from Monday November 8th-13th daily 1pm -8pm. here is an Eventbrite link
We are thrilled to make the journey to COP. My bursary from A-N was travel expenses to get to Glasgow to have meetings with the arts community to get to COP26. I had two failed trips, first was cancelled by all of us being in lockdown in April 2020. Second was May 2021 and Glasgow was literally the only place in the UK to be in lockdown and again my tickets were cancelled. I finally set foot in Glasgow last Friday on a recce of Listen Gallery…. it was well worth the wait!
Accommodation during COP feels heaven sent, a friend’s niece’s neighbour is putting us up, whilst she moves into her living room. Generosity of spirit abounds. We have asked our supporters and community to donate towards the show if they can and we have raised enough funds to cover basic costs, we can get there, we can eat, whoop!
A huge thanks to all who are helping/supporting/following. We’ll be posting on all available outlets ( so wish there was a good wholesome platform in social media land…tell me if I’m missing something)
See you on the other side!
Last week we performed our show Darkroom, a sound and senses show for one person, in complete darkness for 30 climate scientists. 30 shows at Tyndall Centre for Climate Research. Tyndall’s response was, ‘Take the show to COP26’. Very proud of our stamina to keep going on this journey to COP26 and thrilled that sound and pitch darkness can have an impact. There are few more secret ingredients which we will share along the way.
So hard to keep the steam going on this one. We were rejected by the Government for our application to COP26. Next conversations, find out how The Barn are getting on. A great partnership for future work. I spoke to Simone Stewart and they had just found out they were unsuccessful in their bid to become a COP26 Climate Beacon. Another route could be through the Tyndall Centre based in Norwich. Waiting to hear if they were successful in getting a pavilion at COP. I was introduced to an extraordinary curator who puts on art events at places like COP. She had just found out that she had been rejected through the UK government route to COP26. Rejection and closed doors is rife. Nothing to be ashamed of or knocked back by. Hannah, the curator recommended we maybe reduce the length of Darkroom to 5 minutes if were aiming to get delegates to see it. She talked of putting art in their way, ‘they are so busy’, she said. ‘We had a giant island sculpture that we were encouraging delegates to help us carry above our heads to move, ‘move islands of displaced people to other locations’. A great activity that got all those in suits moving and laughing at the awkwardness of it. Her plans to set up near the food area, were scuppered by being refused entry by security even though she had full permission to be there. By the time she got into the main room, the food had been eaten. Hannah said, have a Plan B, C, D and E. COPs love photo exhibitions, as people can pass by and absorb….. or just pass by. She said she would get invited onto panels and show photos that way, as part of the work of COP, rather than an added extra. Hannah queried whether we could be in the Wellbeing area, as a moment to replenish and reflect… we did think about this, but I could only make one bid for a pitch to be and I thought wellbeing might be a bit cheeky if we were playing full on tsunami sounds especially if folks were traumatised or knackered, we might make things worse.
So my balls are all still in the air, waiting to see what the next move might be and trying to follow all leads before time runs out. Before time runs out to apply for funding, but I can’t apply for funding if we don’t know how or what are able to do.
I am calm though, you can only try your best, push but don’t force. Keep alert, keep agile, be prepared to change plans, artworks, location, personnel. In the end, for us the work, the piece, the message is the most valuable component and the work, if it’s meaningful and good it will live on beyond any clamour around a COP.
I’ve just returned from The Highlands of Scotland…serendipity took me on a paid singing job to Brora north of Inverness and for such a long journey and being with the KlangHaus collective, we decide to rent a cottage and do some planning and scoot over to Glasgow for COP26 chats with partners venues. The cottage was near enough to a possible partner venue The Barn in Banchory near Aberdeen. We met with artists and academics who we have been speaking to on zoom for over 9 months. Seeing them in the flesh was extraordinary. A new life experience of forging bonds through work purely online and then meeting people, it was emotional. Everyone looked more beautiful and feeling their energy was intoxicating.
Scotland had bathed us in sun and dramatic skies until we headed south to The Barn, where the initial mizzle gave way to torrential downpours. Apparently the rain style has changed from soft constant drizzly rain to harsh downpours and then sun. We talked and talked for hours. The Barn has a solid, bonded community. I’m learning more and more that art can flourish outside of the metropolis in interesting ways. Lockdown has shone a light on the richness within our own local community. We have for so long been seduced into desiring far-off lands and robust cities, but it only takes a shift in behaviour to see the value in other ways of being. I’m hoping this will be reflected in our climate problem…a shift in ways of being.
On my arrival to Scotland, Glasgow was making headlines. A community revolt involving sheltering two men who were going to be deported. The police had to change tactics and set the two men free because of community power and pressure, amazing. Then news of awful sectarian riots dressed up as football rivalry. It slowly emerged over the next couple of days that Glasgow was to remain in Tier 3 lockdown. As we gazed across the Murray Firth our dreams of visiting Glasgow faded. We were planning to travel on public transport to get to and around Glasgow, we would potentially be spreading the new variant around amongst our colleagues in Glasgow and then bring it back to Norfolk. With a heavy heart we cancelled all our meetings in Glasgow, long lunches, evening drinks and late night lock-ins all postponed. We even had a site visit arranged of a possible COP venue, the planetarium, gutted.