We are delighted to announce that we have been invited by Lancashire County Council to extend TAKEN, the sound installation in Clitheroe Castle Keep by contemporary classical composer Ailís Ni Ríain. Originally the installation was due to close on the 9 April 2012, but TAKEN can now be experienced until the 3 June 2012.
TAKEN, inspired by the plight of the individuals accused of witchcraft in 1612, evokes the voices in the last days and nights of the twelve accused. Held captive in a dark, dank, cramped airless cell that measured just 20 by 12 feet, one of the accused died awaiting trial while others began to suffer psychologically in the appalling conditions. We can only begin to imagine the absolute terror, fear and sadness experienced. And maybe for some, the final defiance and peace found through good memories and hope for the next life. The effect inside the space is unrelenting, your imagination not letting you escape the voices of the accused. Some visitors have described it as unsettling, haunting and eerie.
The second experience of TAKEN is from the outside, where you can walk around the Keep on an elevated walkway and at ground level. This was a deliberate decision on Ailís’s part. “I was not content with the music simply wafting out and being carried off by the wind so we ensured that speakers were cunningly concealed around the Keep to ensure that the music carries. The visitor has the experience of being a voyeur, aware of people being held captive in the Keep, hearing them humming, however now at a comfortable distance, as the music is mixed with the sounds of the everyday world continuing to spin, spin, spin and they can walk away from the wrongly accused…”
To create her sound installation, Ailís worked with 12 local people. The ‘hummers’ spent their time together with Ailís, understanding her work as a composer and how she creates her music. Each person hummed a song that had a personal poignancy to them which became part of the installation.
Ailís said, “I am very pleased that TAKEN at Clitheroe Castle has been extended to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the trial of the Lancashire Witches. It provides us with the ideal opportunity to take some time and remember those whose lives were taken from them based on inference, inaccuracies, and misinformation and perhaps for simply being different. The incarceration, trial and hanging of the Lancashire Witches was a travesty, one which has many contemporary resonances. It is important to remember in order not to forget.”
With the 400th Anniversary of the Lancashire Witches upon us, this is the perfect opportunity to experience this thought provoking installation. TAKEN will continue to run until the 3 June 2012. Immerse yourself in sound and thought as the Keep is brought to life through music. Free entry to the keep.
TAKEN was commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts in collaboration with Lancashire County Council.
TAKEN is part of A Contemporary Heritage: new way of seeing, Mid Pennine Arts’ ambitious partnership programme of contemporary art commissions at some of Lancashire’s most colourful and intriguing historic venues. The commissions, inspired by Lancashire’s heritage, animate each site and offer visitors a rare chance to experience major works of art by artists of national and international standing outside urban areas.