Requiem for 114 Radios

Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard

In what appears to be an abandoned archive, 114 domestic, analogue radio sets stacked on shelves come to life in communal song in this new work by acclaimed artists and film-makers Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard (20,000 Days on Earth).

Individual voices are broadcast to the sets, and as some radios join together in harmony, others crackle and find the ‘inbetween space’ between clear and broken reception. Collectively these unseen singers perform a dramatic new version of Dies Irae from the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

Guest vocalists have been invited to contribute their voice to the disembodied choir. The singers taking part are:

Matt Berninger (The National)
Jehnny Beth (Savages)
Casper Clausen (Efterklang/Liima)
Jarvis Cocker
Jimi Goodwin (Doves)
Rachel Goswell (Slowdive, Minor Victories)
Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets)
Joe McAlinden (Linden, ex. Superstar/BMX Bandits)
Aimee Nash (The Black Ryder)
Beth Orton
Conrad Standish (Devastations)
Jonnine Standish (HTRK)
Elena Tonra (Daughter)
Rachel Zeffira (Cat’s Eyes)

Famously interpreted by composers such as Verdi and Mozart, and used to chilling effect by Stanely Kubrick in A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, the Dies Irae is a powerful portent of doom. This new work gives a playful nod to Kubrick and his fictional piece of radio equipment – the CRM 114 Discriminator – while also calling to mind Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus and the enigmatic radio transmissions which carried coded messages from the British Military to the French resistance during World War Two.

A world premiere and Bristol New Music Commission, Requiem for 114 Radios is a testament to the death of analogue technology, as the radios call upon an intricate universe of mysterious messages, modulated hisses, mangled voices and incomprehensible words. Messages of death permeate a radiophonic babel and the rarely accessed cellars of Colston Hall become the space for a remarkable and unpredictable performance.

The installation is open:

Every Saturday and Sunday until Sunday 5 June from 11am – 6pm.
Every Wednesday evening until Wednesday 1 June from 5pm – 10pm.

“With its obsolete technology, Cold War bunker ambience and allusions to Kubrick’s apocalyptic black comedy Dr Strangelove, it sent the requisite sepulchral shiver up the spine.”
– The Times

“… an astonishingly atmospheric experience … the doom-laden music a funereal lament for lost analogue technology.”
– Bristol 24/7

Watch a Q&A with Iain & Jane about the project:

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Supported by

  • Funded by Urban Creation

  • Commissioned in partnership with Ginkgo Projects

  • Part of Bristol New Music 2016

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