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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.


Kefala-Kerr, John (2018) Arcadia. Site-specific multimedia song cycle.

Item Type: Other


12-month participatory arts/music project, based in Newcastle's historic Grainger Market

Kefala-Kerr, John (2018) Arcadia. [Composition]
Site-specific chamber opera for soprano, harp, soundtrack and projected video created specially for Newcastle upon Tyne's historic Grainger Market. Three public performances presented on March 24th 2018.

Kefala-Kerr, John (2018) Arcadia. [Performance]
Performance of Arcadia (site-specific chamber opera created specially for Newcastle upon Tyne's historic Grainger Market).

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Additional Information: Arcadia is a site-specific multimedia song cycle scored for soprano, harp, soundtrack and video projection. Supported by a grant (£9,800) from Tyne, Wear and Northumberland Community Foundation, the compositional research was underpinned by a period spent working ‘in situ’ in Newcastle’s historic Grainger Market over an 11-month period between May 2017 and March 2018. The work was conceived following the 2016 UK European Union referendum result, and the location of the work selected for its quotidian relevance in terms of the socio-cultural agonía in play at the time concerning the UK Government’s policy of economic austerity, the EU ‘leave’ vote, and vulnerabilities associated with the targeting of markets for acts of terrorism. Engaging market users in reflective and creative research on the dynamics and significance of Grainger Market—past, present and future—was underpinned by an understanding of the market in terms of what Papadopoulos (2018) calls ‘stacked histories’ whereby previous ontologies “remain active forces after their disappearance”. The opulent sonics of a live harp, soprano singer and virtual ‘hyper-orchestra’, coupled with video imagery of the market, invites ironic readings in Arcadia’s juxtaposing of ‘austerity versus opulence’. Melody in Arcadia contributes to the work’s ironic conflation of paucity and affluence. Allusions to mélodie française, with its pared-down, speech-like quality (Bergeron, 2010), are apparent. Unlike in ‘mélodie’, however, the songs in Arcadia are unambiguously about something, in their eulogising of mundane objects—a bar of soap, a cup of coffee, a key. Four performances of Arcadia were presented on 24th March 2018 in a vacant shop unit in Grainger Market. The output worked towards the definition of an in situ (‘composed quotidian’) methodology for creating new musical works whose originality resides, in part, in the way they arise out of interactions with, and in, everyday settings and circumstances.
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Depositing User: John Kefala-Kerr


Item ID: 9047
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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2018 09:26
Last Modified: 27 May 2021 12:54


Author: John Kefala-Kerr

University Divisions

Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications


Performing Arts > Music

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