Talk of the Town Music: Musicity x Low Line

BY JAMES TWOMEY

As part of the London Festival of Architecture, Musicity x Low Line will see 15 sites along the Victorian railway viaduct, spanning Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey, come alive with new music created especially for each site.

Musicity, launched by Nick Luscombe, presenter of BBC Radio 3’s greatly-loved Late Junction music show, is collaborating with the Low Line in the latest instalment of a project which gives buildings and spaces their own new soundtrack and invites musicians and recording artists to compose tracks for cities around the world.

Fifteen musicians and recording artists have created 15 audio tracks responding to 15 locations in and around the railways arches which form the Low Line.

The Low Line will be a new walking destination for London along the length of the mighty Victorian rail viaducts spanning Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey.

It will connect diverse neighbourhoods and communities in south London, creating new hubs of creativity, entertainment, and industry along its course.

The Low Line celebrates the heritage of the railway arches which have been a part of the area for more than 150 years, shaping places of interest along the way and unlocking their potential.

Each composition can be streamed and downloaded free of charge but only by visiting each location with a smartphone.

Once there, people can listen to the new music on musicityglobal.com while taking in the architecture and neighbourhood that inspired it.

Chihiro Ono, a classically trained violinist and composer, created a piece for the Bermondsey Street Tunnel.

Chihiro said: “In my life, every single natural live noise has a very strong individual presence.

Any space with any noise and sounds creates a drama. “Especially I find the organic timing that the live noise creates is amazingly beautiful, and funny. I always try to create something with it, and want to share this “everyday beautiful, funny live noise” with everyone through my classical-trained skill.

“When I was asked to create a piece for the Musicity project, I felt one of my big dreams came true. I am sure each musical location of this new series for Musicity will make your ears open to sounds around you more than before, and will make your eyes open to see things and reality differently.

I believe this project has the power to lead people into a new and surprising world.” Tom Szirtes created a piece for the Holyrood Street space, he said: “The high walls protect you from the noise and bustle of the surrounding area.

It’s a place of small details over grand visages – the mirrored windows, miniature book library, and numerous plants and wildlife here.

“My aim with this piece, was not to attempt a historical statement or high-concept musical deconstruction of the space but to create a soundtrack that resonates with the experience of visiting here.

A sanctuary, or inner space, to lose yourself from the pressures of the city for a few moments.”

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