As the doors open for the Autumn / Winter season at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon audiences will notice quite a few changes. This is the first season programmed entirely by new artistic director, James Slater, and his confident and forward-looking touch is apparent from the first concert, the opening gala concert to be given by Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque on Saturday 20 September.
Returning visitors will immediately notice the benefits of the recent £371k Arts Council England grant, which has allowed for significant upgrading of the 16 year old building over the summer. Physical improvements to the foyer and café-bar area will ensure a much more comfortable and appealing visitor experience, and enhanced technical equipment and acoustic treatment in the auditorium will enable an even better quality sound experience for all types of live music.
The change which will stop people in their tracks, though, is the stunning new light sculpture, ‘Rhythm and Blues’ created by internationally acclaimed British artist, Bruce Munro. Weaving its way in serpentine fashion across the ceiling of the foyer of Wiltshire Music Centre this graceful artwork is the artist’s response to the Centre as a hub of musical commitment and creativity. The suspended structure comprises 405 strands of illuminated fiber optic, and aluminum diffusers. The artwork, reflected in three mirrors, at once expands, illuminates and draws the eye inviting consideration and contemplation.
Bruce Munro said today: It is a privilege to have been invited to create a piece at the Wiltshire Music Centre, and its presence here is testimony to the amazing work of the Centre team and its significance as a venue showing first class music in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties. For me it is always wonderful to have the opportunity to create a permanent piece especially in a place that is close to home and where it can be enjoyed as part of a broader cultural experience.
Munro is noted for his immersive site-specific installations that employ light to evoke emotional response, often in an outdoor context and on a monumental scale. His practice is a mediation of memory and of moments of shared human connection, and incorporates a fascination for components and an inventive urge for reuse.
Munro’s work has been exhibited by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Guggenheim Museum, New York. Since 2012, he has found that botanical gardens provide the generous space many of his outdoor pieces require and he has had solo exhibitions at Longwood Gardens, Cheekwood Museum and Gardens, and Franklin Park Conservatory. In November 2014 he continues his Residency at the Rothschild Foundation, Waddesdon Manor with a seven piece exhibition from 12 November to 4 January 2015
Clare Jack, Executive Director of Wiltshire Music Centre, said today: The physical improvements have made a great difference, and Bruce Munro’s light installation is truly inspirational. With a fantastic programme of music ahead of us we are welcoming the new season with a great sense of optimism and excitement.
- Further details about Wiltshire Music Centre, and its full Autumn / Winter concert programme, at: www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk.
- Further information about Bruce Munro and his work at www.brucemunro.co.uk.
- The Bruce Munro installation at Wiltshire Music Centre was not publicly funded, but a special commission funded by generous donations from supporters.
- Foyer designed by Burrt-Jones & Brewer with project management by Elm Workspace. Office extension designed by Hetreed Ross Architects, project managed by Jones Lang Lasalle and built by Steele Davis.