17th Sep, 2021

Coventry Moves - Coventrians urged to be part of city-wide orchestra

RESIDENTS of all ages are being urged to join together and play their part in the epic and unique final moment of Coventry Moves – the signature event for the year as UK City of Culture – on June 5.

The day-long event, starting at 8am, will be enjoyed by people from Coventry, the region and across the country through online broadcasting.

It begins with a solitary voice and will culminate in a unique once-in-a-lifetime collective moment at 20.21 called ‘Coventry Moves Together’ where the whole city will form an orchestra – simply by switching on their radios or web devices and tuning into one of the local and community radio stations.

Composer and sound artist Dan Jones has created a new piece of music – including the voices of Coventry schoolchildren.

The track has been split into multiple streams and will come together as a full piece of music when radio stations can be heard simultaneously.

Families, friends and neighbours are being urged to head to their doorsteps, into their gardens or on balconies and tune into different streams so that the whole city can hear the full, eight-minute piece.

The piece has been inspired by the legendary Coventry-born composer and mathematician, Delia Derbyshire, and will be broadcast via BBC CWR, Hillz FM, Radio Panj, Radio Plus, Vanny FM, Fresh Radio, Arawak, Block Radio and Radio Abbey to create a world first moment – a city-wide surround sound musical performance.

The aim is to reach 350,000 individuals from all communities and, after premiering in Coventry, it will be shared with the world online.

The event being put on with the support and collaboration of local businesses and services such as libraries, faith groups, retail units, hotels, supermarkets, music venues, charities, transport networks and police, ambulance and fire services, which will join with the whole city in broadcasting one of the streams.

Over the course of the last two months, Dan Jones worked with pupils at local primary schools to record contributions that will take centre stage in the piece. The work will build towards an ecstatic crescendo and final fanfare that brings with it the spirit of optimism and welcomes a future full of possibilities.

Dan said: “We are turning Coventry and its radio stations into a giant surround sound system brought together by the people of Coventry using every sound source they can lay their hands on; car stereos, phones, TVs, radios and more.

“The more people who participate, the more magical the effect will become as the tunes and sounds echo from one device to another, as if between different players in an orchestra.

“It’s a reflection of the idea of community itself – our reliance on each other in good times and tough.

“Most of all, thanks to the participation of the kids, it’s a herald of our future together, and all the promise that holds.”

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are delighted to reveal Coventry Moves Together, the finale to an audacious day full of extraordinary surprises around the city. Conceived entirely during lockdown, Coventry Moves Together will mark a historic moment of shared experience, enabling the entire community to move as one and welcoming in the city’s year as UK City of Culture.

“We want every person in every community to be able to take part in this incredible moment for Coventry and to start talking to their neighbours now about how they might share this special moment in a safe way.”

Coventry Moves Together is an evolution of Dan Jones’s previous body of work and builds on his thinking about how a large-scale audio artwork can be created with surround sound, using it to make people the stars of the piece.

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