Does Spring Hides Its Joy: DocumentationWed 18 Aug 2021
American composer Kali Malone’s Does Spring Hide Its Joy engulfed the Grade II listed Hydraulic Tower, in a soundscape that transcended its surroundings, leaving visitors to sit, meditate, pace, and simply bask in its encompassing presence. Hundreds of visitors each day visited the tower, some fans of Malone’s work, others curious to enter the derelict building they had lived near or passed on their daily walks for decades, eager to know what was inside. Featuring musicians Stephen O’Malley and Lucy Railton and manifesting as a 4-day multichannel sound installation, Malone offered a deep listening environment in this disused hydraulic tower and engine house in Birkenhead Docks.
Originally designed by engineer Jesse Hartley, and built in 1868, the tower is based on the Palazzo Vecchio, a renaissance cavern in Florence, Italy. Bombed during World War II, the iconic nineteenth-century Grade II listed building had been left unused for decades. As the Hydraulic Tower begins to enter its new phase of renovation, we believe this to be one of the last times the public could safely enter the building in its dark, raw, and textural state before it is completely renovated into a brighter, more commercial space: The Maritime Knowledge Hub.
— Kenn Taylor (@kenn_taylor) July 3, 2021
Celia Hay’s accompanying film portrait of Kali’s commission documents the building’s state of transience, co-directed by Sweat Mother. The Super 8mm film experimental portrait captured the movement of natural forces: wind, fire, water, featuring animals as they pass through and overcome a man-made skeleton of industry.
Does Spring Hide Its Joy by Kali Malone is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Wirral Council. With further support from Peel L&P. Featuring musicians Stephen O’Malley and Lucy Railton, recorded at The Berlin Funkhaus by Jonny Zoum and at Monom by Rodrigo Stambuk.
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