EAB / A Sound Experience for Football Fans and Shoppers

A Sound Experience for Football Fans and Shoppers

Contemporary composer of environmental music for buildings and man-made spaces, Stanislaw Hansel, will next week be playing a unique ‘recycled’ piece of original music through the sound system of the Serpentine Green shopping centre in Peterborough. This marks the second phase of his artistic residency in Peterborough, and continues his ongoing work at Peterborough United football stadium.

‘Sound Spheres’ is a music installation in two of Peterborough’s most public areas. It challenges the public’s understanding of art and provides the composer with an opportunity to further his exploration of music within the urban environment. In the first phase of the project, Stan created a four-track piece of music to be relayed across Peterborough football stadium, with different arrangements for different conditions (day or night, rain or shine). This music has already been played over the stadium’s sound system at packed matches and will be performed again at future home fixtures.

For the second phase, Stan has cut up this original score to create a recycled piece for the shopping centre that plays on the links between the environment and recycling. Twice-daily performances of this new work begin on Monday 19 February.

The residency forms part of the national Year of the Artist programme with funding from East England Arts, and is certainly catching people’s attention, as Stan explains: “The reactions from the football fans have been extremely interesting. My music is very modern, but actually very quiet with ambiguous sounds that are heard almost unconsciously.

“Reactions have been very varied, but even the less positive ones show that people are thinking about the concept of music composed for public spaces, which is what this work is about. It’ll be fascinating to hear the reactions of people in the shopping centre, as some of them will probably have heard the same sounds, but in a different order, at the football stadium.”

Stan studied composition under John Tavener. His inspiration comes from the concept of silence being a positive force in music (an idea first famously proposed by John Cage in the 1950s) and his work aims to go beyond this by creating a kind of ‘psychic music’ that works on a subliminal level. As an extension of this, Stan wants to make music that is part of the fabric of the built environment.

“Sound is far more important than people give credit for,” he explains. “All buildings contain abstract sounds and I’m keen to alert people to these and to explore how music can influence the impact of our environment.”