Colourscape 18th June 2006
Last Sunday we went to Colourscape in Clifton Park, Rotherham. Swamp Circus were performing outside with a bunch of local kids. Inside was incredible. I've been in structures like this before (although last time was about 20 years ago), but this one beats them all. It's the largest Colourscape structure in the world, an acre in size containing 100 rooms, and it has only ever before visited London, Vienna and Rotherham. The event was organised by Steve Rogers of Open Minds Theatre Company.
At the heart of the structure, inside an incredible organic-space-age looking grey chamber, were a troupe of improvising musicians who took it in turns to play in different groupings. Included among them was the trombonist Alan Tomlinson, who I'd seen at several London Musicians' Collective gigs many years before, plus a soprano saxophone, basson, various flutes, and a computerised suit which responded to its wearer's movements by emitting different sounds.
As well as coming from the central room, the sounds were piped from speakers around the structure, so wandering around the maze it was hard to work out whether you were approaching the centre or approaching an edge. When I had begun to find my way around, I sat down in a chamber, on the other side of the wall from the musicians, and joined in with their music, whistling and singing along with the hidden improvisers.
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