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Flood Tide - Mayor's Thames Festival

Event preview

ON SATURDAY, September 12, 2009, The Mayor’s Thames Festival will present Flood Tide, a ground-breaking musical performance driven by the flow of tidal water from the Thames.

Flood Tide, created by jazz trumpeter and composer John Eacott, is a musical composition generated by tidal flow.

A sensor submerged in the river Thames gathers information from the tidal flow that is converted into musical notation and read directly from computer monitors by an ensemble of up to 40 musicians of strings, wind, voices and percussion who will perform the piece live.

The ensemble is made from a mixture of professionals and students from London’s Centre for Young Musicians.

Each performance of Flood Tide is completely unique. The sensor gives a live feed from the river so the pacing, intensity, harmonic and melodic content of the performance will depend on how the tide flows on a particular day.

The performance will last around two hours, beginning at low water as the tide gradually begins to flood. The flow will build until the maximum rate is achieved. The tonal centre of the work rises throughout, mirroring the rise of water level. The performance uses a changing ensemble of 40 musicians, which permits a range of musical dynamic from the stillness of the beginning segment to the energy and turbulence of the final segment.

Flood Tide is an ambient piece that aims to encourage a new kind of listening. The music generated from the process is tonal and meditative and the audience are invited to drift in and out of the music by listening for a while and then moving on, perhaps to return later on to hear how the piece has changed.

The performance begins at 2pm.