Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Instructions & Introduction

Find a WiFi hotspot in a hotel lounge, airport bar, train station, coffee shop in the tourist district - in fact ANYWHERE where there is journeying of some sort occurring.

Set up your laptop or smart phone and plug-in the best headphones you could find. Adjust the volume to a comfortable mix between the accordion 'pre-show' music and the ambient soundscape of your performance environment.

Grab a glass of your favourite tipple. Click on the MP3 - LISTEN link below. At 19:45 (GMT) your opera will begin.

Click the button above to start listening to A Sentimental Journey LIVE.

If you are experiencing problems click the following link:


If it still fails to play, try copying this address into your web searcher or audio player:


NB - There will be a post-showing discussion, your comments (below) are welcome and will contribute to this discussion.

Introduction/ Programme notes

Further information - A Sentimental Journey webpage

Although this composition will be performed live to an audience the ‘opera’ does not take place in the theatre, but rather within the minds of remote audience members who are “listening in” to the live stream of the performance whilst “being there” at a place of journeying. By that I mean, that the audience will be situated in, say, a hotel lobby, a airport departure lounge, or a coffee shop in the centre of a tourist district, experiencing the opera through headphones and the physical presence of watching others journey. As such, their opera will be cast by the people that they are watching, and the set-design will be the place they are immersed, with the lights and the ambient soundscape contributing to their experience.

The music for this opera is realised through improvisation and each musician has a responsibility to a narrative exposition – however abstract this may be. They will approach the performance embracing any of the definitions for the word play (noun or verb), and embody the central premise of Sterne’s book. To this end they are given the following instruction:

This piece should be rollicking good fun!
It should ooze a philosophy of pleasure.
The music can digresses through the folds and creases of an individual’s mind into a world where anything might happen.
It can meander from the macro to the micro, from the outer to the inner. It has no universal scale of values.
It is a reflection on the emotions of the heart,
and of pleasure, fun
and wholehearted joy.
“Vive l’amour! Et vive la bagatelle!”
Each musician– performing or listening - must pirouette about its world, peeping and peering, enjoying a flirtation here, bestowing a few coppers there, and sitting in whatever little patch of sunshine one can find.

This performance will feature:
Audrey Riley - ‘cello and voice
John Richards - bass, electronics and voice
Jonathan Eato - soprano sax and voice
Craig Vear - percussion, KYMA and voice
Michael Lambourne - Yorick, solo voice and percussion

Thanks to Damian Cruden, Jonathan Eato, Aine Sheil, Peter Boardman and Patrick Wildgust.
Further thanks to Matthew Paradis for his expert help in setting up a reliable streaming system - http://www.matthewparadis.net/
Dedicated to Patrick Wildgust.


craig vear said...


Ilaria said...

Thank you for sharing all this with the rest of the world. I am also enjoying the discussion, and I am so happy to hear about Laurence Sterne, a great po├Ęte voyant!

Delphi group said...

I am in my kitchen so not a journey environment save teenagers passing through with various requests! but still it took me on a journey - I liked the sense of the audience being there as well

Anonymous said...

Sat in London listening and watching the comings and goings from a mates flat over looking Kilburn station - created a real sense of place to whole event


ps Michaels voice very booming!

adam said...

There were some great moments when the live 'actors' around me seemed to be in tune with what was happening in opera. I have to say that as many 'places of journeying' are not necessarliy that pleasant to sit in (i was wandering the city with it streamed via 3G and spent some time in a bus station), some of the more lo-fi (discordant?) sections of the piece were a bit of a struggle. However it was a genuinely interesting experience and rather nicely (and through shear accident) it came to a finale just as my 'derive' took me home to my flat.

Tom Bellerby said...

Listened from a living room in London, in the middle of sofa hoping from one friends house to another so in the middle of a kind of journey. I enjoyed and agree with Mandy that I authored my own way through the piece.

Would love to experience from the live audience's perspective in the theatre to see how much of an impact this would have had on my interpretation. I have never experienced a live piece (in which I am very aware of the presence of an audience gathered elsewhere) "alone" before and this lack of a fellow audience in the space with me made my narrative feel very much lonely.

Lots to think about ...