Ramsgate Festival of Sound Programme Announced!

Ramsgate Festival of Sound is delighted to announce the programme for this exciting event running from 21st-30th of July 2018.

It is a jam-packed week of talks, performances, music, family fun and beautiful sound installations taking place around Ramsgate town and it’s Royal Harbour.

The festival is a partnership between Ramsgate Arts and Ramsgate Week with support from Thanet District Council, Ramsgate Town Council and Arts Council England.

Virtually all the performers, composers, musicians and sound artists are Ramsgate and Thanet residents making this festival truly homegrown. For the third year Terry Prue has assembled a series of talks to provide a historical underpinning to the Festival activities. Ramsgate Reflections runs all week.

A historical theme runs throughout many of the works which have been inspired by the history and lesser known stories of the town. On Friday 27th July Ramsgate poet, Sarah Tait celebrates Jane Pugin’s life in Finding Jane, following her journey from impoverished widow and single mother-of- eight to her last years at St Augustine’s, when she was known locally as ’The Grand Old Lady of Ramsgate’ This beautiful poetry reading will take place in Pugin’s House, The Grange at 7pm.

In 2011 Filipe Gomes (a local resident and acclaimed artist) decided to embark on a journey that would bring the ST Cervia steam tug back to life sonically. Over the course of a year, Filipe travelled the world and worked with past crew members in an attempt to gain a detailed understanding of what the vessel sounded like when she was functioning. The installation is a detailed recreation of the vessel in full working order. The whole boat and its’ components are a complex variety of sonic experiences, and visitors will literally hear the bubbles under their feet, the rhythm of the engine and the wind through the windows. This installation will run throughout Sat 28th and Sunday 29th July.

There were initial plans to use Ramsgate’s Multi Storey car park as a venue for a variety of sound installations but due to health and safety concerns raised by the The Port Authority and Thanet District Council it has been decided that these works will now be shown in various different venues throughout Ramsgate.

Festival Producer Andrew Gibson said “ We are disappointed not to be able use this interesting space but the safety of visitors is always the number one priority. The change of venue however will allow us to present each individual work for a much longer period and place each piece in unusual settings that complement the work. It also allows us to support local businesses and artists by drawing visitors off the beaten track to discover some hidden gems.”

The Festival is also very pleased to announce “Requiem for Cross Bones” presented in Albion Square Gardens, courtesy of MERGE Bankside, in partnership with Tate Modern, Better Bankside, and Bankside Open Spaces Trust. Award-winning and BASCA nominated composer and sound artist Emily Peasgood’s Requiem for Cross Bones is an evocative composition, sound installation and series of sculptures. It senses movement and responds to visitors, triggering music and sound. Commissioned to exhibit in June 2018 at the infamous Cross Bones graveyard in London’s Bankside, it acts as an interpretation of lives once lived and laid to rest there, reflecting the history and narratives of babies, children and adults.

As a Ramsgate resident, Peasgood created this work locally, with the support of local artists and singers, and driftwood from our local beaches. Requiem for Cross Bones is an act of remembrance and hope; a communal reflection on history, life, loss and love. Visit www.emilypeasgood.com. This installation will run from 11am until 5pm on Sat 28th and Sunday 29th July. It will also showcase the wonderful work of the volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain this beautiful garden.

The festival would like to thank Ramsgate Tunnels who have opened their doors to host two sound shows, The Sounds of Wartime on Sat 28th 6pm and Gagarin on Sunday 29th. The Sounds of Wartime is a nostalgic double bill performed by Sarah Head and Tom Adams. Sarah Head is an actress and West End star and has toured extensively with Aled Jones. Her credits include Eastenders, National Theatre and her own solo show. Evoking the glamour and sounds of the fabulous forties Sarah transports her audience back to the war and post war period. From toe-tapping tunes that will make your heart leap to the intimacy of smoky and smoochy ballads. Tom Adams is a writer and performer extraordinaire. He has devised this show specifically with the Ramsgate Tunnels in mind. Using vintage wartime footage, beats and “looping” Tom captures the voices of the audience and transforms them into the voices of people from the past, and all projected onto a Wartime parachute. The show will recreate the sense of camaraderie that people felt when sheltering in the tunnels. Moving, funny and not to be missed.

Recreating the tension of the cold war period Gagarin is a stunning immersive experience with original music composition by local composer Nick De Carlo. Inspired by Yuri Gagarin’s first orbit of the earth the piece is accompanied by original films created by artist Helga Fannon. Helga’s work has recently been shown at the ICA in Celluloid Traces. The show affords the audience the chance to discover the lesser known story of the tunnels during the 1950’s when it was earmarked as a nuclear shelter. The show will be relayed through a state of the art sound system enhancing the eerie sounds of space and cold war tensions.

No sound festival would be complete without music and there is plenty of that on offer covering three music stages. The beautiful Italianate Greenhouse will host an afternoon of world-class Jazz with Sabina Desir and the Doug Sides Trio on Sat 28th from 1pm.  Ramsgate’s up and coming musical stars will perform on the main Harbour Stage from 2pm on sat 28th and join us for a Harbour Hoo-Ha from 7pm on Saturday evening. Grab your buddies and bring your bevvies (and dancing shoes for later) and head down to the harbour for an eclectic evening of music.

On Friday night we have already-legendary alt-cabaret night Screaming Alley in the Red Arrows Club from 8pm and on Sunday join us for Things With Words and Music on the East Cliff  Bandstand, a travelling spoken word event from Ramsgate that has become known for mixing poetry and storytelling with a flair for the theatrical and a good smattering of music.  Also featuring The Lunatraktors, your local ‘broken folk’ duo and activities for kids of all ages.

Other activities for children include The Enchanted Forest Adventure and Pirate Ship Adventure. The Enchanted Forest Adventure is brought to you by the amazing Bindlestick Theatre. Pirate Ship Adventure is  a beautiful soft play area for young children brought to you by Hackney’s Albion Kids Show and presented on Ramsgate Main Sands.

There will be more events announced in coming weeks.  Anyone can keep up to date with festival announcements by visiting the website or following the hashtag #RFOS across social media. You will also be able to pick up a printed copy of the programme at various locations around Ramsgate and Thanet.