Skip to main content

Susan Philipsz – Timeline

Until September 2nd 2012
5 stars
It only takes a few seconds, and the lunchtime Calton Hill day-trippers
may not even register the three-note female vocal harmony emanating
from Nelson's monument, and which segues into the faint sound of a
cannon being fired for the One O'Clock Gun. In its clarity, however, as
Susan Philipsz's major city-wide intervention ricochets into the ether
at exactly the same time in five other sites on Waverley Bridge, North
Bridge, Old Calton Cemetery, the National Gallery and West Princes
Street Gardens, it becomes an ancient siren's call that transverses
history as well as geography.

Inspired by the electrical cable hung between the monument and
Edinburgh Castle in 1861 to mark out the speed the sound of a gun
travels at by way of Homer's Odyssey, Timeline is part classicist
gift-wrapping, part Enoesque jingle that permeates the air with a
purity that transcends the cannon-fire, and arguably makes the daily
ritual even more iconic. Of course, the cable Timeline travels along is
long gone now, as invisible as much as the half-built tramlines and
drill-battered roadworks clogging up the city's physical presence are
visible.

Timeline, then, is an intangible reimagining, a call to arms that both
acknowledges and cries out for a better place as Philipsz' own voice
maps out possibilities that are about infinitely more than simply
getting from A to B. It's barely there, but if Philipsz' other-worldly 
chorale were made a permanent fixture, the city would be singing every
day.
The List, August 2012

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…