Steve Messam

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Date: 2015

Client: Cobweb Orchestra

Location: York Cold War Bunker, York. UK

Dimensions: variable

Materials: mono frequency lights, lighting gels, sound responsive triggers

Further Info: Underground Orchestra on Culture24

Underground Orchestra on BBC


A Light Installation and Orchestral Performance
York Cold War Bunker. York, England. Saturday 16th May 2015.

The York Cold War Bunker is a unique experience. Built in the 1960's to monitor radiation fallout in the event of a nuclear war. As one of the most modern of English Heritage properties, it is already laden with an unnerving atmosphere. For one night only the entire bunker will be transformed with an immersive light installation. Designed to disorientate and unsettle, the temporary work will be an unforgettable experience.

Within the light installation will be performances by musicians from the Cobweb Orchestra. The event is a journey of discovery and contemplation. Wander the corridor and uncover the spirit of the bunker through a series of tableaux and mini performances. From the intimacy of the dormitory to the anticipation of the main operations room every turn reveals a new story.

As part of the event the orchestra will be performing the premiere of a new work by Michael Betteridge written especially for the bunker. 'Against the Clock' is a work for flexibly sized chamber orchestra of no determinable length in which the performers are controlled by a series of alarms mimicking the sense of uncertainty during the cold war and will be performed in the main space in the bunker that evening.   

The Cobweb Orchestra Underground is a Cobweb project funded by Arts Council England with generous support from English Heritage


arts council england  English