Circa Regna Tonat (2020)

On 18th Sept 2020 on the occasion of Culture Night in Ireland, my new commission Circa Regna Tonat (It thunders throughout the realm) was unveiled in Gorey, Co. Wexford as part of the ‘Sleepertown’ public art project curated by Richard Carr. The six geo-located audio works that are part of the commission (including mine) have been created in response to six sites in Gorey and will be available to the public for 6 months from the opening, on the Echoes platform. The work transferred to Tullamore in 2021, as part of The Museum of Everything project curated by Brandan Fox.

Circa Regna Tonat takes as its starting point the metaphor of the storm, using sounds recorded on the Killruddery estate in the aftermath of Storm Brendan at the beginning of 2020, as part of a practice based PhD at SMARTlab UCD, Killruddery: Listening to the Archive. The title and central text comes from a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt (Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt me inimici mei) written in 1536 after he reportedly witnessed the beheading of Anne Boleyn from his cell in the Tower of London.

The island of Ireland has been subject to many clima(c)tic events over the centuries and the idea of the storm has particular resonance for a post-pandemic epoch.

Audience members on the soundwalk

Visitors to the piece should download the Echoes app in advance and the work will play automatically in response to the listener’s location. The piece develops over a 15 minute walk, from the storm recordings of January to the metaphorical storm of Covid-19 and back again, with Wyatt’s text weaving a central narrative throughout. More information on the Sleepertown website.

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