Surround Me is a series of sound installations, which only takes place on Saturdays and Sundays in a few locations in the City of London. It was created by Susan Philipsz (edited: winner of Turner Prize 2010) and commissioned by Art Angel.
It was strange to walk around the city of London during the weekend. It was deserted. We were left with the streets, architecture and the space created in between. Arriving at Change Alley, I had no idea what to expect. Standing right in the middle of the junctions between four alleys, I was a little confused. Just when I wanted to ‘phone a friend’, a lady started singing ‘New Oyster, new oyster……’ The singing started at the other end as well and the sound was echoed by the surrounding buildings. The ghostly voice subtly unfolded history of the place. It was magical.
We were encouraged to wonder around the City of London, to find the other installations at London Bridge, Mark Lane, Milk Street,Moorfields Highwalk and Tokenhouse Yard. It was like a treasure hunt which led us to discover and explore hidden spaces. Even though the weather was not good, our spirits were high.
It’s hard to describe. The way we experienced it, it was almost like the reverse of a flashmob. We went to a series of public spaces, they were almost completely deserted, and we then were exposed to heavenly voices and music. In geek terms..It’s like when you set up a surround system for your home Audio-Video set up, apart from it’s the city not your lounge, and you’re standing at the crossroads of a number of alleys, and the singing is channelled towards you down a number of alleys, or you’re in a small square and the singing comes at you from every corner of the square. If you like madrigals, this will quite literally be right up your street. Even if, like me, you’re not aware that you have a dormant appreciation for Elizabethan music, it’s well worth dragging yourself around the 7 sites to experience it for yourself. It’s part treasure hunt, part waiting game, and at worst, it’s nice walk/bike ride.
Instructions can be found at Art Angel’s website
But hurry it only runs on weekends until 2nd January 2011.