Melting Shifting Liquid World is an immersive work for String Ensemble, Electric Viola and Electronics delivered over bone-conduction headphones, premiered at the National Maritime Museum on the 16th March 2019. The piece features different sonic interpretations of climate change data from ocean monitoring indicators. It also incorporates a poem called “Still Life with Sea Pinks and High Tide” by Maura Dooley (The Silvering, Bloodaxe Books, 2016) and natural recordings from the Arctic, recorded by world renowned field recordist Chris Watson.
Thoughts from the premiere:
In the press:
“…the result was an entirely different, much more expansive sense of immersion than one usually experiences. The work’s title could hardly have been more directly relevant to what the music was doing. It was easy to hear its slow changing and evolving forms as processes of shift and melt, and the fluidity of Harding’s material – no solid sonic objects here – combined with the way we could move anywhere at any point to create a world that felt decidedly liquid… Further tensions emerged between tendencies toward dronal stasis and large dissonant agglomerations, the flat map beneath our feet seemingly being extended upward into something three-dimensional through the pronounced shifts in musical contour.” Extract from review of Melting, Shifting, Liquid World - Dr. Simon Cummings, 5:4 (click for full article)
“The effect of this multi-layered, multimedia approach was nothing less than scintillating, the evocative strains of Harding’s orchestration counterpointing the often unsettling sensation caused by the pre-recorded sonic textures fed to us through headphones… But the real star of the show was Harding, whose brilliant score and setting made this one of the finest immersive performances I have ever had the pleasure of seeing – and I’ve seen some great ones over the years” Extract from review of Melting, Shifting, Liquid World - Miles Hedley, Greenwich Visitor (click for full article)
"…a unique, inspirational and unforgettable performance"
"A fantastic piece and a fantastic performance! Compelling and provocative."
"…a beautiful, poignant and thought provoking piece; a great use of space; it will haunt my imagination for a long time to come."
"Mesmerising, beautiful and truly immersive….”
"…extraordinary immersive experience."