Monash University
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Never At Sea

posted on 2024-05-16, 10:26 authored by Cat HopeCat Hope

Never at Sea is a composition by Cat Hope.
It has two formats: a work for bass orchestra and solo electric bass (premiered in London, 2022 with Ruthless Jabiru and Decibel ensemble, led by Kelly Lovelady, and soloist Cat Hope at the Brunel Tunnel) and as part of a performance installation, for soprano, percussion and fixed media with visual artist Kate McMillan, premiered in London in 2023 (at St Mary's of the Sea Church, the Strand, with Louise Devenish (percussion) and Marcia Lemke Kerne (soprano)

The orchestral work explores the notation of being in water, when the eye line moves between the surface and the beneath. It was composed to and influenced by a video by Kate McMillan of young women experiencing a similar effect.

The performance-installation work led by visual artist Kate McMillan and composer Cat Hope. McMillan and Hope both prioritise artistic activism and social injustice as a key impetus in their creative practice, and work with collaborators to develop and realise large-scale works, in this case choreographer Sivan Rubinstein, dancer Lydia Walker, percussionist Louise Devenish, soprano Marcia Lemke-Kern, and a group of UK migrant women.

The project aimed to provide a creative, collective and experientially-rooted response to the politicisation of people seeking refuge in the UK. In the creative development phase of the project, three months before the premiere, a group of recent migrant women were invited to work with the creative team in a series of workshops where they were welcomed to share and express their experience and memories of home via a series of tasks devised by the artists, such as guided meditations, object sharing and embodied walking stories. Their input helped shape Never at Sea Providing an alternative voice for these issues via the artwork and the processes engaged to complete it, makes a contribution to discourse around socially engaged artistic practice, and its role in providing pathways for communities to engage with global issues of our time as a step towards affecting change.


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