National Museum of The Royal Navy commissions the classics

A CD album release of modern classical movements reflecting the Royal Navy on the sea, under the sea, in the air and on land is to be released in spring 2013.

South-London audio production house Wall of Waves has completed the first stage of a commission by the National Museum of The Royal Navy (NMRN) to record in some of its most iconic environments.

Marvin Ayres at HMS Alliance

The ‘on the sea’ movement was recorded aboard ‘HMS Victory’, in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, where Admiral Lord Nelson was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, while the ‘in the air’ section took place in one of the hangars at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

Second World War submarine HMS Alliance, in Gosport was the venue for the ‘under the sea’ movement, while the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney, reflected the ‘on the land’ movement.

The commission is part of Wall of Waves project Sacred Spaces, a unique audio recording project exploring the acoustics and atmospheres of unusual locations located throughout Britain.

Marvin Ayres at HMS Victory

Curated by British modern-classical composer and multi-instrumentalist producer Marvin Ayres, Sacred Spaces aims to reawaken the inherent and/or dormant spirit residing in unlikely locations ranging from derelict industrial sites to historical places of interest, and using their unique acoustic qualities for musical purposes.

Recordings have been made at locations as diverse as Winchester Cathedral, The Tate Museum, Orford Ness ex-Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Bretton Chapel, West Usk Lighthouse, and BBC Bush House.

The instruments used are re-tuned to complement the environments, and microphones used to pick up the full ambience of the spaces once excited by the cellos, violins and violas.

One element linking all the locations will be the same series of notes assembled to create one collective piece composed from the overtones, sustains and reverberations recorded in each environment.

Marvin Ayres at Fleet Air Arm Museum

With the National Museum of The Royal Navy site recordings now completed, Wall of Waves is working on the editing, mixing and mastering of the four movements in readiness for their commercial release to coincide with an official launch event in spring 2013.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of the NMRN, said: “The overall intention is to create a unique sound-scape which evokes the spirit of naval history from operating on and under the sea, to operating in the air and on the land.

“The music is a free-form interpretation of the composer’s experiences of these locations and as such is unusual, lending each environment a distinctive yet mutually-complementary sound.”

Issued September 2012 on behalf of Wall of Waves by
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