Musicians in the landscape, celebration of the seahorse, and a historic cinema orchestra (extra) ordinary, 7-16 June, Torbay

A historic cinema will be brought to life, musicians will perform in Torbay’s landscape and there will be a celebration of seahorses for (extra)ordinary – ten days of performances, events and activities offering fresh perspectives on Torbay’s unusual places and spaces.

Dancers, crafters, musicians and grass men will be amongst those taking part in the programme, which takes place from 7-16 June.

Torbay Culture’s Eyeview (extra)ordinary brings together local communities with creative talent from Torbay and further afield to create a series of events for local people and visitors to the area.

Taking place in dramatic landscape, historic places and streets of Torbay, the programme will include:

Electric Sound Palace
A historic cinema will be brought to life using immersive sound technology. Artist Chris Timpson is creating soundscapes at Paignton Picture House using inspiration from the cinema’s original 21-piece orchestra.

The installation uses immersive sound technology to create a soundscape which is triggered by the seats that audience members choose to sit in (a kind of sophisticated musical chairs). Chris has recorded musicians from Torbay Symphony Orchestra playing, as well as people’s memories of the cinema and excerpts from old meeting minutes books.

The Paignton Picture House opened in 1914 and is believed to be the oldest surviving purpose-built cinema in Europe. In its early days, each member of the orchestra was paid a guinea to perform. Drawing on archive materials of Paignton Picture House Trust, Chris Timpson (Aurelia Soundworks) is collaborating with other artists to create this new site-specific work to transport audiences into a wondrous Electric Sound Palace.

Sound in Landscape
Musicians from Hong Kong and Torbay will perform at sites across Torbay’s extraordinary landscape. The project is part of a new artistic exchange between musicians in Hong Kong and the English Riviera, exploring artistic responses from two distinct UNESCO Global Geopark sites.

Fabric of Home
This mass sewing project is inspired by the invention of the domestic sewing machine by Isaac Singer, and the opportunity it created for people to make their own clothes and items for their homes. The event will take place in the gardens of Oldway Mansion, the former home of the Singer Family. A miniature landscape of Torbay will include models which local people have sewn, depicting their houses and items which signify ‘home’. One person has sewn a model of a singer sewing machine because sewing is a symbol of home to her. This sewn landscape will emerge from a root-like system apparently growing out of the lawn.

When the event takes place, people are invited to watch, or to join in by helping to sew a quilted sea or to make their own contribution to the scene, using hand-crank, treadle and electric sewing machines.

Silence Between Waves
This dance performance is set within the dramatic landscape of Berry Head, with stunning views across the sea. The project brings together a cast of three dancers from Singapore with a community cast drawn from Torbay. Through movement and sound, the performance will explore what it means to be ‘home’, connecting two places across the sea. Richard Chappell Dance is working with the dancers to explore dialogue around international collaboration.

The Offering
Inspired by Torbay’s rare seahorses, a procession will walk through the streets of Torquay down to the sea, led by the wearer of a specially created cape, embellished with images of local marine wildlife. Dancers will create a new tango inspired by the courting dances of the Short-Snouted and Spiny Seahorses, and wild swimmers will continue the procession into the water.

Human Seahorses, with dramatic make-up reflecting the colours of Torbay’s seahorses, will join the procession, flanking a wooden representation of a 19th century Brixham fishing vessel made by members of The Shed, a community workshop in Torquay.

Grass Men
Grass Men in huge Living Costumes made from local flora will appear at locations throughout Torbay, in a walkabout performance which playfully explores the connection we have with nature and the green spaces in our urban environment.

The costumes have been designed and grown by artist Ashley Peevor with two community groups from Torbay – Brixham Edge Young Volunteers and Torquay’s Gardens & Greens allotment project. For the event, the floral costumes will be worn by local community connectors

Creative Director, Nathalie Palin said:
(extra)ordinary is a fantastic opportunity for people to come and celebrate this very special placeThere will be happenings at locations all over the Bay. All the events are free, and with so much variety we hope there will be something for everyone to enjoy. “

(extra)ordinary is part of Eyeview, the cultural programme of Torbay’s Great Place Scheme,which aims to grow and celebrate the local area as a great place to live, work and visit.

A full programme of events is available on Torbay Culture’s Eyeview website, along with further information about how to participate.