Laura Daly’s The Storm Cone is a new immersive AR (Augmented Reality) app that unearths lost bandstands and their buried past.
This site-specific spatial sound installation traces lost bandstands in England, using geo-locative and immersive technologies. It’s commissioned by Metal for NetPark, the world’s first digital park, and the University of Salford in Manchester for Peel Park and can be experienced in both locations.
The Storm Cone by Laura Daly is an immersive artwork that considers our intrinsic relationship with the past. At its centre is a journey through music and sound that charts the fading away of a brass band during the interwar years (1918 – 1939). Using new technologies to trace lost bandstands in their final days of mass popularity, we first encounter the band performing as a full ensemble, in 360˚audio. Breath-taking detail can be heard from every instrument as you move amongst the absent musicians; proximity altering the perception of sounds as Pankhurst’s score builds and then returns to a single note. From the powerful, collective sound of the band, the journey then follows the departed musicians into eight spatial sound works by Daly, where their fragile solo phrases merge and mutate in new environments. History, fiction, artifice and reality combine within this sensory encounter to confront the present with its past.
This absorbing work takes its name from the title of Rudyard Kipling’s 1932 poem that forewarned of WWII. It considers key aspects of the interwar period and the ensuing break-up and reshaping of communities in different parts of the country. Brass bands, with their strong industrial, religious and militaristic associations, lost many musicians to both World Wars, and the intervening years of shellshock, unemployment, economic migrancy, and industrial action. Their survival and the survival of brass music tells a story of working-class life during this epoch of deindustrialisation. Life, music and creative legacy all being sustained by breath. As the band’s sound lingers in an absent-minded hum or whistle, it becomes both an imprint and portal to these past times.
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