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Friday, 26 December 2014

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Harmonic fields had fields-good factor

VISITORS flocked to the opening day of the Lakes Alive Harmonic Fields art project. IAN DUNSTAN went along

BIRKRIGG Common came alive with the sound of music.

Five hundred hand-crafted aeolian wind-powered instruments adorned the landscape, creating a truly unique atmosphere to go with the stunning scenery.

The opening day of the Harmonic Fields project, by French arts company Lieux Publics, attracted almost 700 people to the hillside.

A constant stream of people wandered among the aeolian instruments as the wind blew through them, creating a beautiful sound.

The low hum of the harmonic cellos, mixed with the sound of vibrating drums, bamboo whistles and flute trees, proved a big hit with the visitors.

Mike Walsh, an art teacher at Furness College, came from Dalton to enjoy the installation with wife Sara and the rest of the family.

Mr Walsh said: “It is well worth the walk up. I’m really surprised by just how many things there are here. It’s incredible that the slightest breeze can change the sound and atmosphere.

“If we had more installations like this it would be great, not only for the people who live here, but for tourism as well.”

Mrs Walsh added: “It is absolutely brilliant. It’s is something really different, a totally different use of the space.”

The installation had also appealed to the curiosity of Reverends Kaz Stanton and Anne Furness, who had made the trip from Manchester and Stockport
respectively, just to see the project in the flesh.

Mrs Stanton said: “It is absolutely fantastic. It is like a life’s work coming together. It is an amazing combination of so many things coming together.
“I like hearing the instruments that I can play being played in such a different way.

“Some things you get out of bed for, this is definitely one of them.”

Mrs Furness said: “It is wonderfully inspirational.

“We saw it on the news and thought we just have to go. It is such an amazing concept.”

It is the first chance for UK audiences to see and hear Pierre Sauvageot’s critically-acclaimed installation, which had its debut in France last year and will next head to New York next year.

And Jason Geldard, from Conishead Priory, appreciated the effort behind the project.

He said: “It is really amazing, all the sounds you can hear and the hard work that has gone into preparing it.

“It is the first time I have seen anything like it in the area.

“It is the sort of thing that pulls you up here, I had to come and see it while I’m off work.

“It is magical.”

Debbie Lander, who came from Carlisle, said: “It is very high quality and absolutely ingenious.

“I feel like I could live here.

“I think it should be here always, a permanent installation.

“It is the sort of place where if you’ve had a stressful day, you could come up here, have a walk around and really zen.

“There is a really diverse audience here too.”

The project will finish tomorrow (Sunday) and a free shuttle bus will run between Ulverston and Birkrigg, with only very limited parking available at the site.

The bus will run continuously from Ulverston between 11am and 8pm daily.

The pick-up and drop-off points are Lanternhouse, the bus stop outside the Rose and Crown in King Street and Ulverston Railway Station. There will be a request stop outside the Lancastrian Hotel in Mountbarrow Road and a pick-up point by the ice cream van on the coast road at Bardsea.

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