Dead Symphony was commissioned by Apartment House as part of Sound and Music’s Embedded scheme. The first performance took place on Saturday 6 July 2013, at Turner Contemporary in Margate.
Dead Symphony is a unique artistic work, which fuses social documentary, art, biological science and music. Sound is understood to be the last sense present moments before death. Artist Saskia Moore has documented and transcribed the music and sound experiences people have heard when losing or regaining consciousness during a near death experience.
“The work is installed in a clinical white space, a contemporary white walled gallery with resonant acoustics. Musicians are the central focus, the performance space central in the room and performed in the round. The audiences encircle the musicians. A bank of Spartan florescent tube lighting is installed in the ceiling above the musicians, creating a centered pool of bright white light. The fluorescent tubes look like they belong in the space – nothing special. During the 40 minute performance, the fluorescent tube lights begin to fade and subtly flicker until eventually flickering out – like the fluttering of consciousnesses or closing of the eyes. The very subtle flickering and fading of light creates connectivity between a present and conscious source, and the unconscious mind. The last minute of the performance occurs in low light into darkness as the Symphony concludes.” Saskia Moore