Now, you might not think that the foghorn is a particularly beautiful sound nor one that is deserving of a classical music homage in its honour but that’s exactly what took place this weekend, with a fleet of ships gathering in the North Sea on Saturday (June 22nd) to perform a piece to mark the disappearance of the sound from the UK coast.
The ships were joined by three brass bands and the Souter Lighthouse Foghorn to perform the composition live to audiences congregated on the coastal cliffs. Over 50 ships took part, alongside some of the north-east’s best bands – the Westoe Band, the Felling Band and the NASUWT Riverside Band – to play the collaborative work by composer Orlando Gough and artists Lisa Autogena and Joshua Portway.
A distant foghorn has always had something of the quality of memory; its softly melancholic sound has always seemed to have come to us from somewhere lost,” Lisa said. “The Foghorn Requiem will be a final farewell to a sound and to the people and way of life it represents.”
The event formed part of the Festival of the North East, a month-long celebration of creativity and innovation in the north-east each June.
What do you think deserves a musical composition its honour?