LightNight is a city wide culture crawl from large scale events to small hidden gems, here’s Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody seeking out the best bits.
LightNight is all about venturing out to see and hear new things past your bedtime. It’s a chance to explore places you may never have been before and, indeed some which may usually be off limits.
It’s a time when folk gather en masse with the sole purpose of seeking out art, performance, music and, most of all a good time. There’s a sense of adventure in the air that is highly contagious.
So, the Tide Prediction Machines at the University’s National Oceanography Centre were a special treat. These are Difference Engines for real. Mechanical computers built to such precision that the older one (of 1905 vintage) of the two on display was able to inform the MOD of the time when best to launch the D-Day Landings.
One stands in awe of the skills of the people who made these things and then those who processed the data needed to make them turn and grind more than one hundred years ago.
Speaking of past centuries, on the hour at the Hope Street Suitcases audiences were treated to a performance by Threedumb Theatre (in association with LIPA). All’s Fair In Love and War took the festivals theme of Time, centering around two couples from different eras and their live/love experiences that are in a sense timeless.
Time was also apparent in the subtle, but strikingly beautiful piece by Steph Kuebler Preston in the Medical Institution. Titled Every Second Every Day, here were two glass hearts filled with noble gases, electrically charged so they worked their way through the glass sculptures, just as blood does in our own hearts. Until it stops.
At the other end of Hope Street, the Metropolitan Cathedral’s performance of Thomas Tallis’ Lamentations was a delight and an opportunity to have a quiet 20 minutes just enjoying the atmosphere. It’s moments like this that make you appreciate the serenity of a spiritual space.
So too, the Show Me Your Hands project of Aleasha Chaunte in the Lady Chapel – a chance for meditation, should you wish. Jonathan Raisin and Philip Jeck entranced an audience at the Phil Music Room with a specially commissioned piece celebrating 40 years of Roger Hill’s Pure Musical Sensations, BBC Radio Merseyside’s alternative music show.
In the meantime, there was street theatre, giant paper cricket (or something) puppets and a couple of beers along the way.
The sound of the Illumaphonium floating from near the Anglican Cathedral drew us back down Hope Street. An oddly satisfying percussion instrument made of suspended glass bulbs which when stuck created calming sounds supported by a gentle beat and lit the night sky as darkness fell. It was a hugely popular attraction, captivating young and old.
Greg Wilson however was the main draw. We walked into the magnificent Anglican Cathedral about twenty minutes into his set and the place was as rammed as a Great Space could be which is no mean feat for a Cathedral. Such is the enthusiasm for LightNight. Wilson was a perfect choice to end a night full of twists and turns, contrast and discovery with lively celebration.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody