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Aboutface Live Presents- Vaga: the River Wye as a metaphorical representation of the journey of humanity.

Live at freerotation (2016)

Broadcast on NTS Radio ​16/7/16

Sound and concept: Ben Kelly (as Aboutface).

Violin by Taro.

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth: Recited by Jenna Whelan.

Additional Assistance by Danielle Guest.

Instruments: Korg Polysix, Minibrute, Korg Ms2000, Moog Mother 32, Tr8, EHX 4 track looper, Hapi Drum, Acoustic Guitar, Violin, percussion and recordings from the River Wye between Hereford and Symonds Yat. 


Thanks to Spaceships UK for camper-van hire.

Live recording of 2016 Freerotation performance 'Vaga'. Using the River Wye's characteristics to narrate a reflection of humanity; where have we come from, who we were, who we are and who we will be. The cross currents relating to poly rhythms, the hidden rhythms of whitewater the time signatures.

Following on from Are birds singing in their sleep, which utilised the hidden rhythms of bird song to control musical instruments, Vaga (translation: wandering) - the latin name for the River Wye, seeks to explore the hidden characteristics of the river which runs close to the performance venue to inform 5 improvisations, using the river as a metaphorical representation of the journey of humanity.

Underwater, stereo and close up mono recordings of the River Wye were captured over a 3 day period, which included canoeing over 20 Kilometres to reach remote areas of the Wye. Alongside this experimental multi-exposure/split frame 35 mm photography was captured to articulate our intervention on the natural habitat.

The Project culminated as a live improvised performance with 4 Synthesisers controlled or influenced by the river, acoustic instruments and a Violin player. Each 15 min improvised section will relate to an interpretation of our journey as a species inspired by the psychogeography and biodiversity of the area, each prefaced by a section of William Wordsworth's Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey. 

1 –  Mouth of river (Birth of creation)

2) – Underwater recordings (Birth of Carbon organisms) 

3) – Canoe through still waters (Neolithic/birth of tribal communites

4) – Fast waters/rapids (Industrialisation/human consumption) 

​5) – Recordings of people and the river (Integration/harmony) 

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