Musician to create 30 Minute Snare Drum Roll as dancers circumnavigate M25 at Southbank

By Ben Miller | 07 November 2014

Avant-garde musician's 30-minute drum roll to set tempo for weekend of unusual events at Southbank Centre



The 30 Minute Snare Drum Roll, made by Charles Hayward, a multi-talented performer who lists his instruments as drums, vocals, maestrovox, electronics and piano in search of avant-rock, avant-progressive and art-rock sounds, will reverberate and inform drawings by artist Emma McNally.

This is part of a weekend of events for the Hayward Gallery’s current digital showcase, MirrorCity, which also includes a dance performance inspired by the M25 around the Royal Festival Hall’s “racetrack”.

“It takes a rudimental drum technique and extends this elemental sound out beyond itself into an undulating line that pirouettes and spirals through acoustic space, changing density, pressure and volume,” says Hayward, calling McNally “fantastic”.

“The pencilled, monochromatic sound suggests more than itself; time is the frame.”

Hayward admits that recording the sound presented various technical difficulties. One of his previous performances of the work, at Lewisham Art House, saw a listener liken him to a magician.

“The sound soon became a drone, with the snares activating the acoustics of the ceiling like a swarm,” says Hayward.

“Lots of dynamics and tempo changes made it move and strobe on itself.”

Megan Saunders, a leading choreographer whose collaborators include the BBC and the London College of Fashion, is presenting her latest art-infused piece. Under her guidance, 15 dancers will spend Saturday navigating sections of the M25 motorway on foot, collectively circling the entire network before recreating their steps and recounting their experiences at the Festival Hall the following day.

A series of equally unusual events planned across the weekend includes performances inside the MirrorCity installation, curator tours, readings and, in a conversation between philosopher Howard Caygill and exhibition artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, a contemplation of the nearby tides of the Southbank.

A special display, MirrorCity: Remix, will also showcase the work of a group of 6th form students who have worked with the Centre’s education team and artist Harold Offeh in an exploration of the show and the path its 23 digital practitioners took.

Pursuing the decisions made by curators along the way, the project has produced a series of postcards on sale to visitors.


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A photo of a sign of indecipherable writing made up of dark gold solid material
Julia Misheva's wall vinyl, inspired by MirrorCity artist Avehsim Ailuj, is based on layers of language, creating new, unreadable words© Courtesy Southbank Centre
A photo of a video still showing a swirl of colours
Emily Preston, inspired by Connie Louise, made this video in a series investigating The Death of Art as a response to the renaissance© Courtesy Southbank Centre
A photo of an artwork reading there is absolutely no racism sexism homophobia discrimination
Inspired by Avery Lowe, Hollie Wells made this text-based statement print© Courtesy Southbank Centre
A close-up black and white photo of a record with a crack in it
Inspired by Theadore Kine, Charlie Mead made this sculpture of a broken record© Courtesy Southbank Centre
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