Screenshot 2023 08 18 114816

Caroline Bergvall: NOTTSONG (51°27’N Bristol)

Nottsong is a per­for­mance for spo­ken and sung voic­es, elec­tron­ics and mul­ti­ple lan­guages writ­ten and per­formed by Car­o­line Bergvall. With new vocal co

Opening Times
20:45 – 22:00
Nottsong is an ambitious and immersive audio-visual performance for two voices, spoken and sung, electronic projections and a sonic installation in multiple languages. It includes a new vocal composition by Gavin Bryars, sound design by Jamie Hamilton, film projections by Andy Delaney, electronic text by data artist Mianlin Hu, and voicework by mezzo-soprano and improviser Rosie Middleton. Fusing words, voices and music, film and electronic text-work into a singular, dreamlike and mesmerising whole, Nottsong is both ancient and contemporary, personal and political, and explores what it means to be in the dark.

Written for our urgent times, material is drawn from conversations with speakers from very diverse languages, and reflects on the nomadic and migratory reality of language, against our own current divided backdrop. Nott is the female personification of night in ancient Nordic mythology, and the text is also in part inspired by the Nordic creation myth of the Voluspå, spoken by the seeress Heidr at the start and end of times. Nottsong is performed at the Arnolfini on the night before the autumn equinox, and ritualises the start of a long seasonal night.

Bergvall’s subtle and varied voicework expands into a complex, multi-layered and enveloping sound design by Jamie Hamilton, and echoes across the dark, hypnotic patterns and landscapes of Andy Delaney’s filmic material. Language and languages, speech and song, breath patterns and electronic frequencies are all at work in these mesmerising and unique poetic variations. She seeks to foster a renewed understanding and imagination of the deep connections and richness of our multilingual worlds, and to advocate ancient and new routes of transmitted speech and song into a powerful, ecopoetic, mythic, transformative experience.
Screenshot 2023 08 18 114816