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Immersive WWI Exhibition In Tyneside
Jack Mckeever , August 5th, 2015 16:07

Boston sound artist Halsey Burgund contributes to exhibition exploring life in Tyneside during WWI

Boston-based sound artist Halsey Burgund has been involved with a number of artistic endeavours and digital artworks across the USA as well as internationally, and on August 10 he’s teaming up with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museum here in the UK for Tributaries, a piece of audio inspired and influenced by life on Tyneside during the First World War.

The experience will come via a free Tributaries app. Volunteers from the Tyneside area have agreed to take part in a number of recorded readings that will then be set to original, newly recorded music by Burgund. These first person readings will be comprised of stories from the time that have been collected in libraries and museums. They also include things like the diaries and letters of objector of the war cause Frederick Tait, as well as archived weather announcements recited by BBC Look North’s Jennifer Bartram. Users of the app will also be able to record their own gambits, a part of the app made available to compare the differences between life today and 100 years ago.

Burgund said of Tributaries that it was “both personal and collective at the same time; I used voices in the piece because they can convey the direct meanings of words as well as the hidden nuances, like character and emotion”.

The partnership between Halsey and the Northern English company may seem like a disparate one, but John Coburn, the Digital Programmes Manager for the Tyne & Wear Archives and Museum said: “I’ve known about Halsey’s work for around five years now. We both like to push beyond the usual histories that define an area; to explore voices and personal experiences – often lost or forgotten – that provide surprising glimpses into places we thought we knew.”

On August 13, Burgund will be hosting a talk about Tributaries at the Laing Art Gallery at 3PM. There will be an informal social gathering following that at the Free Trade Inn in Newcastle, where users will be encouraged to immerse themselves in the experience. The last remaining tickets can still be reserved for free here.

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