Project Description

(mp3 – 128 Kbps)

Date Composed: August 2008
Duration: 10 mins.
Performers: Damian Rose (voice), Glenn Boulter (texts), Francis O’Donnell Smith (music and production), David Dhonau (Cello), Ola Szmidt (Flute)

An Unorthodox 1-2 is a spoken word and music composition commissioned by Bifocals Community Arts and the Arts Council England as part of a residency at Barrow Athletic Football Club in 2008. It combines field recordings, spoken word, and instrumental material to explore the aural environment of a non-league football match from the physical sounds of the game to the emotional response of the crowd and the acoustics of the site.

Inspired by his visits to the Holker Street ground, artist Glenn Boulter produced a series of texts that were later recorded with Barrow-based actor Damian Rose. Drawing on early experimental radio dramas, these fragmentary monologues combine adverts for defunct local businesses, found text from old programmes and descriptions of local geography.

Edited and looped, the spoken texts formed the starting point for three instrumental pieces, performed by Francis O’Donnell Smith (guitar, laptop, production), David Dhonau (cello, bass) and Ola Szmidt (flute). Combined, the two elements attempt to capture the unique aura of match day in a South Cumbrian town and to make explicit the idea of the game as a performance in its own right.

Performances of the piece have taken place at Holker Street stadium and various venues around Cumbria as well as appearing as part of the alternative opera festivals Grimeborn at the Arcola Theatre and Firsts at the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre. A recording of the piece was also made available as a limited edition hand-packaged CD.

Artist’s biography:

Glenn Boulter is a visual artist, musician and producer based in Cumbria, UK. He organises events as a director of the artist-led organisation Octopus and performs regularly as a member of improvising collective Aurelie.

Octopus was formed with in 2009 with the aim of organising cutting edge experimental music events in Cumbria and the North West. Octopus’ first project was “Full of Noises”, a seven day festival that invited four international artists to respond to the environment of Barrow’s shipbuilding district. The resulting works by Haco, Susan Matthews and Mobile Radio were presented during a weekend which also featured performances from Faust, Pram, John Wall and Richard Youngs. Residencies for 2010 are scheduled for cellist/composer Hildur Gudnadottir ad Antye Greie (AGF).

Aurelie events have taken place in galleries, art centres, theatres and other unusual spaces such as a football ground, a corporate bank and Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbarn in Ambleside. Recent shows have included two nights at the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre and support slots with Volcano the Bear and Anti-Pop Consortium.

Current projects include creating a sound installation for the NHS Hull Wilberforce Centre with community and patient groups, as well as co-producing a series of music events with FACT and the Liverpool Biennial as part of the PRS New Music Plus scheme.