by Steven Carson
Two of Liverpool’s iconic buildings are set to shine on LightNight. The Bluecoat and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral have been announced as the secret locations for this years light projections.
From 9.30pm on LightNight the two light projections will shine a spotlight on two beautiful buildings; the Bluecoat, the oldest Grade 1 listed central Liverpool building and the striking portland stone Bell Tower of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
The two dazzling projections will pay tribute the centenary commemorations of World War One, and in particular how the war was seen and reported on the Home Front.
The First World War was the first total war, with the whole nation mobilised to fight. Men joined the army while women took over their jobs.
The government asked for 100,000 volunteers, but got 750,000 in just one month. The projections convey the sense of optimism for the war through archive photographs, postcards, newspapers and more.
The light projections will be accompanied by the voice of David Charters, the Bard of Birkenhead, who is reading his play ‘A Dream of Wildfred Owen’.
The play considers and imagines several phases of the life of Wilfred Owen, one of the greatest voices from the First World War, whose poetry still endures today.
Andy McKeown, LightNight projection artist said, “Once again, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to project onto two of Liverpool’s most beautiful buildings for LightNight, and especially as both pieces commemorate World War One.
People have been very generous in sharing some incredible archive photographs, postcards, newspapers and film giving us a sense of Liverpool 100 years ago.”
“I hope to give the LightNight audience a taste of how the war was seen from the Home Front and how patriotism was evoked. News was shared through newspapers, posters and word of mouth, very different from today’s media channels.”
More street action will be on display from innovative Liverpool creative’s the Kazimier and the Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band as they clash on LightNight to create the Sound Battle With heavy rhythmical drums and synth-mobile on one side, versus melodic brass and percussion on the other, the streets of Liverpool will come alive with stirring, audio-visual battles.
Clad in opposing pattern coded versions of dazzle camouflage which is synonymous with the First World War, the players will move in choreographed formations to create visual illusions and a dramatic soundscape.
The performers instruments will also explore sound to light technology to produce a sensory, dazzling piece that will envelop the audience.
The Sound Battle performances last 10 minutes, and came be seen on LightNight at 5.45pm on Church Street, 7.30pm outside Tate Liverpool, 10.15pm outside the Metropolitan Cathedral and 11pm outside Liverpool Cathedral.
Laura Brownhill of the Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band and the Kazimier said: “We are excited to bring the LightNight project to the streets and trial new forms of performing music with the light show element.
We have had a really strong team working on the project and we our proud to present it to new audiences. Meffy Metcalfe is especially eager to bang his bass drum and illuminate the crowds!”
Liverpool’s up and coming fire artist collective Bring the Fire Project will light up the pavements around Wellingtons Column and Steble Fountain on William Brown Street from 9.45pm on LightNight.
Producing a cutting edge fire performance comprising of fire breathing and fire costumes, live drumming from the Taiko Dragons, and exquisite installations with a mixture of stylistic elements taken from Japanese traditions.
Bring the Fire Project is a Liverpool based collective of fire performers, circus skills teachers and flow arts promoters and the first fire dancing group based in the city.
They provide workshops for both children and adults, and deliver fire-dancing courses at Merseyside Dance Initiative, TiLT Dance Studio and the Black-E.
A further stunning addition to the LightNight streets programme has been added in the shape of an Ice Sculpture. Created by Liverpool based ice sculptors Glacial Art, who will be live carving a piece of ice art on the plateau in front of Liverpool Cathedral from 6pm on LightNight.
Just a week after their TV debut on Game of Thrones, Mat Foster and Matt Chaloner of internationally renowned Glacial Art, will live carve their LightNight ice sculpture to commemorate WW1 and pay homage to the 1914 Lord Kitchener recruitment poster ‘Your Country Needs You’.
Mat Foster, owner and Creative Director of Glacial Art, said: “Glacial Art are delighted to be part of LightNight 2014, it gives us the opportunity to display our ice sculpting skills in the city we love the most, Liverpool.
The LightNight programme is full of exciting and interesting things to do and see over the evening, it’s a pleasure to be part of something so unique in our home city. And in front of such an iconic building and to sculpt such a poignant piece of art for the WW1 centenary remembrance.”
LightNight visitors can also download a FREE LightNight iPhone app to make their own customised tour of the events and activities. TicTocTourist is a free iPhone app for tourists, impromptu visitors and residents alike.
TicTocTourist enables visitors to have the whole LightNight programme in the palm of their hand, select a detailed itinerary and plan the shortest possible route on a handy map.
LightNight 2014 is the fifth edition of this annual late night festival. Each year the audience and the programme grow, with many new arts organisations joining this one-night celebration of Liverpool’s arts and culture.
New comers include Mercy, HIVE, Bring the Fire Project, The Friends of the Flyover, Liverpool Biennial, Alison Appleton Studio, The Kazimier, Pagoda Arts, Merseyside Polonia, Karate Union of Great Britain, 20 Stories High, West Everton Super Strings, Scottie Writers, Outpost, Duke Street Studios, Aurora Media, The Reader Organisation, Wanderpool, The Mixnots and many more.
The free programme is online at www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk or available from all participating venues.
This article first appeared on the Click Liverpool website.