NEWS: Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells @ Holy Trinity Church | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

An important building in Sunderland’s history – from providing religious services to housing the Town Hall, Magistrate’s court and Sunderland’s first public library – Holy Trinity Church was central to the growing city’s identity until the country’s first outbreak of cholera in 1831 signified its downfall. The clearance of the slums in the 1930s, the increasing modernisation of the ‘80s and a decreasing congregation led to the church’s closure, but the Grade I listed building has recently been given a reprieve thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant. An attempt to place it back at the forefront of the East End community will see the church’s iconic bells once more ring out, although in an entirely different way than you might expect.

Artist Matt Stokes took inspiration from the considerable history of the church as a basis for his Gogmagog sound installation, which is at the church until Sunday 23rd September (Saturdays and Sundays only). Situated in the nave of the church, the installation reinterprets Plain Bob Triples eight bell peal, composed by Benjamin Annable and rung at the church during the late 19th Century. A newly recorded composition has been developed in collaboration with Marty Longstaff (Lake Poets) and Jordan Miller (Lilliput) in which eight speakers dotted around the central body of the church will play out five distinct sections which draw inspiration from the church’s historic moments. Annable’s Bob Triples hand-bells will be woven amongst other instruments played by musicians including Rachael McShane, Barry Hyde, Eryn Rae, Lee Morris and Craig Hissitt among others. Singers Eve Simpson, Rebecca Young and the Sunderland Young Songwriters group also contribute vocals, drawing their lyrical inspirations from both the church’s history as well as the thoughts, hopes and fears of the community who inhabit the area.

Like this story? Share it!