21st September – 13th October 2019, St Clement’s Church, Romney Marsh, Kent
Katherine is a murder mystery in a sound and music installation. It explores the history and stories that surround St Clement’s in Romney Marsh; from the Crusades to the west gallery choral tradition and the Walt Disney film Dr Syn, Alias the Scarecrow which was filmed in the church in the 60s and resulted in its pink interior. Katherine connects these stories with an imagined narrative that finds resonance with the church and wider community. Katherine features a choral work that tells the tale of young Katherine. It can be heard from the west gallery as you enter the church. [N.B. Before the church organ was commonplace, choirs —and sometimes musicians— would assemble in the west gallery. Some attribute the tradition of west gallery choral singing to Rev. John Deffray, Rector at St Clement’s from 1690-1738]. As you move around the church, the voices of locals can be heard from the crusaders grave while the preacher shouts impassioned text from Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow (1963). In a cupboard in St Katherine’s Chapel, prayers to St Katherine of Alexandria can be heard alongside utterances from a frightened and lonely young Katherine. Visitors are provided with lyric sheets and invited to solve Katherine’s mystery through clues provided in the sounding narratives.
Materials: One-woman west gallery choir (SAAT), voice actors, sound effects, prayer-board signage, red rose and vase, and lyric sheets. 4 looped audio channels of differing length, looped played through 5 wireless speakers and mp3 players. Recorded with Zoom H6 and edited with Logic Pro and Izotope RX 5 Audio Editor.
Commissioned by: Art in Romney Marsh (AiRM) which features contemporary art in medieval church in Romney on four weekends in September and October.
Team: Lead artist, recordist, composer, narrative and sound editor: Emily Peasgood. Lyrics by Emily Peasgood and Kate Lynn-Devere. Voice actors: ‘The Preacher’ – Neanderthal Bard, ‘Katherine’ voice and sound effects – Anna Sullivan, ‘The locals’ – Theresa Smith. Katherine features the voices of Emily Peasgood (choir), Anna Sullivan (Katherine) and Neanderthal Bard (preacher). Prayer-boards: Jemima Brown. Installation and technical support: Andi Elliot and Al Harle.
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Interviews & Visitor Feedback
BBC Radio Kent Interview with Robin Nixon: 12 September 2019
Lovely piece, calm and tranquil – Visitor
Exquisitely perfect setting for Emily Peasgood’s music – Visitor
Such a powerful piece. I really thought this was such a perfect setting for it – Visitor
Excellent, compelling, brilliant site-specific work – Visitor