Musicity / British Council in Shanghai & Beijing
Musicity seeks to encourage people to explore the city musically, architecturally and experientially by commissioning musicians to compose original tracks in response to a building, site or piece of the city that inspires them.
‘111.5’ (Power Station Of Art)
‘Mr Mei’’ (The Great Theatre Of China
‘Turn Right’ (Baitasi Hutong Gallery)
Power Station Of Art - Shanghai
The first power station of Shanghai to light up the streets of the city. This striking brutalist building situated on the Huangpu River has now been made into an international art gallery.
Abi Wade was inspired by the layout of this immense building and split up the floor plan to create a score for the piece. She also created sample instruments and soundscapes with the recordings gathered from the space and adjacent river using contact microphones, hydrophones and stereo hand recorder. The piece is called ‘111.5’ in response to the tempo of the escalators that zigzag through the building.
The Great Theatre Of China - Shanghai
Originally where Peking Opera came to Shanghai in the 30’s it had since been closed and was a hardware store for many years. In 2018 it was reopened and now showcases many avant-garde theatre shows.
Exploring the history of the building Abi Wade collaborates with Shanghai traditional Sheng artist Zeng Muang on a piece that takes traditional Peking Opera melodies and reinvisions them. The piece evolves from a sample taken of the famous opera singer ‘Mr Mei’’ and is named in his honour. The cello is prepared with hardware bought from the bustling streets opposite the theatre. The area being filled with similar stores and reflecting the time the theatre itself was a used as a hardware store.
Hutong Gallery - Beijing
The Hutong Gallery was built in the heart of the Hutong streets in Beijing. A Gallery and artist residential centre for the area, the design of the building was inspired by Water and Light and there is a fluidity to the space, each room being connected to the floor below and above by channels of light.
Abi Wade was fascinated by the acoustics of the space and systematically recorded the reverb of each room and the sound of her footsteps as she traces the perimeter of the space choosing to ‘Turn Right’ at each junction. Using this as the structure and sound bed for the track, Abi designed the piece to progress as the acoustics change when she moves from room to room.
Power Station Of Art Shanghai Launch
360 Audience in the Spa Gallery of the PSA. Abi Wade performed alongside 4 Shanghai Artists including her performance with Sheng player Zhang Muang.