On Chorus | Public Sound Art Project by Christopher Steenson

On Chorus | Public Sound Art Project by Christopher Steenson


16/11/2020 - 29/11/2020    
8:00 am - 9:30 am


Across Ireland & Online
Ireland, Ireland

Event Type

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On Chorus
A public sound art project by Christopher Steenson

Monday 16 November – Sunday 29 November 2020

On Chorus is a public sound art project by Christopher Steenson. The project uses field recordings of the dawn chorus and broadcasts these sounds across Ireland by using Iarnród Éireann’s network of train station PA systems. These field recordings were created in April 2020, during the unprecedented period of silence caused by the first Covid-19 lockdown in Ireland. The recordings were made along the banks of the Royal Canal in inner-city Dublin.

Launching on Monday 16 November 2020, the sounds of birdsong will inhabit train station PA systems across Ireland, from 8:00am to 9:00am, every day, for two weeks, ending on Sunday 29 November 2020.

On Chorus aims to reflect on how we shape and effect the qualities of our sonic environments by highlighting the dramatic reduction in noise pollution experienced during the first Covid-19 lockdown. By taking these of recordings of lockdown and broadcasting them across the country, On Chorus invites us to listen to our recent past, as a way of reorienting ourselves to the present moment, questioning our entangled roles in shaping nature, as we progress beyond the ‘new normality’ of the current pandemic. For those essential workers hearing the sounds of birdsong on their early-morning commute, this project is intended as a gesture of thanks and solidarity.

At the same time that birdsong will be heard in Iarnród Éireann train stations, birdsong will also play on a website created specially for the project, called www.on-chorus.com. Birdsong will play each day on this site between 8:00am and 9:00am, for people who are still self-isolating or unable to travel.

The On Chorus website also presents a series of 35mm photographs created by Christopher Steenson. These images trace various moments depicting the entanglement of human and non-human relations along the north-inner city stretch of Dublin’s Royal Canal.

Also featured on the website are a series of texts by a group of invited contributors, including Christopher Steenson, Jez riley French (sound artist), Mark Garry (visual artist) and Suzanne Walsh (writer/artist). The www.on-chorus.com website has been developed in collaboration with creative publishing platform Fallow Media, created by Ian Maleney.

On Chorus runs in train stations across Ireland from Monday 16 November to Sunday 29 November, each day from 7:30am to 9:00am. A map of train stations taking part in the project can be found here.

On Chorus is supported by Iarnród Éireann, in consultation with BirdWatch Ireland. The project is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, with additional funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

On Chorus is additionally supported by Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Fallow Media and RTÉ Supporting the Arts.

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