Pent House Music – Anna Braithwaite Performance
21 June 2015 2:00 pm
Sea smoke gathers,
Drawn to land,
Seeking rest from the restless sea,
Steals up the cliff,
Filling the pale sky,
Heavy white, seated on Sugar Loaf Hill,
Then at dew point,
Slips into the Devil’s Cup.
Sea water runs down supple stems of grass,
Soaks the earth and
Seeps through chalkstone
Purified, it runs against a seam of clay,
then springs from the ground at Biggins Wood.
‘Pent House Music’ is an artistic reaction to the ‘Pent Houses’ sculptures themselves and the issues they raise. The main inspiration for the words and music is the Pent Stream, which runs from the South Downs to the sea via Folkestone town and is plotted by the positioning of the ‘Pent Houses’. Beginning with a gentle evocation of the natural processes that create the stream, the music then follows its subsequent movement, celebrating the stream’s past incarnation as an essential resource for the town. The piece ends with a rousing call to arms: the music becomes a kind of tribal dance, with the lyrics imploring the audience to recognise this forgotten, wasted resource and to restore it to its rightful place at the centre of the community. Both words and music are created by Anna Braithwaite, who is also performing the composition. She says: “I want to create a piece that has the whole audience dancing by its end. I see this as an attempt to reclaim a small plot of land in the centre of the town, which, before the stream was culverted and sent underground, was a meeting-point, a hub and centre of activity. It is now difficult to imagine it ever had this role, but I want to reveal the past that still flows through the present.”
Anna Braithwaite is a composer who lives and works in Folkestone, Kent. Distinctly theatrical in nature, her work is thought-provoking, humorous and unexpected. Anna’s main goal is to write music that connects directly and viscerally with both performer and audience. Her many years of experience as a cabaret artist have honed her techniques for dismantling the ‘fourth wall’ that is traditionally said to exist between the two. She aims to confound peoples’ expectations of contemporary classical music and subvert their preconceptions by challenging its conventional structures, delivery and presentation. Anna is also a classically trained singer and continues to tour the UK with her cabaret trio ShooShooBaby.
Meet at Pent House 2 (3b on Folkestone Artworks: New Edition map). This performance will start at 2pm.