providing the bedlinen but more than that we are constructing the actual beds ourselves. Snoring…not everyone knows that they snore do they! I’m thinking about how we could use it, take the snoring and build it into the sound design on the night through live sampling? Obviously we won’t make anyone self conscious or put a big arrow above anyone’s head to say “here’s the snorer!”. Tere will definitely be coffee and pastries, but we’re talking to Te Assembly House as well who are really keen to do something nice for us.

How will your singers cope with singing all night, or perhaps in the middle of the night, especially as you are doing five nights on the trot? We’ve broken the choir up into shifts and then those shifts are voluntary – people can sign up for the various components of the night. Tey’re really excited about it, and although some people may have not signed up to this particular project because it’s outside their comfort zone, others have said they can’t wait to be a part of it, so it all works out nicely. Can you tell us a little about


the music, which has been composed specially for this show? It’s a really rich subject, sleep. For me it started word-wise from two places –a professor of literature who wrote an essay called In Praise of Sleep which led me to other literature by people like Keats. Before that I found a lovely poems called Coleridge called What If You Slept. We’re working with very theatrical composers that we have worked with before – Helen Chadwick who writes nearly always unaccompanied vocal music, and Orlando Gough who does lots of big stuff for places like Te Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne. Jon Hopkins sends us music that he has already written which we use, little outtakes of things and bits and pieces. He’s done these really bizarre remixes called Te Asleep Versions where he’s taken his own music and mixed it so it’s what you might hear if you were listening to it whilst asleep - you get these tiny little beautiful gems. We’ll also be using sound design using various different things. Sal Pittmann from KlangHaus is doing films and visuals for Te Arms Of Sleep. How did she get onboard? I’m in KlangHaus too, so I’ve been working with her for 10 years. She’s got a really great eye and her choices in terms of imagery are really beautiful. She’s a trusted member of the team and has a great aesthetic – I know she’s going to just get it and understand it straight away. What have you personally got from being a part of Te Voice Project, and why would you recommend we come to Te Arms Of Sleep? Norwich has got a fantastic bunch of people who are

quite experimental and sometimes the things that are going on here are really really great. I think there’s something incredibly connecting about voices – as human beings we respond to voices very strongly. When you see a person who you can identify with, you can think “they’re not a trained singer or a professional, they’ve just chosen to be in this choir”. It’s not elitist, and that’s really where Sian and I are doing this – creating a way that everyone can participate in new art and I think that’s really important. For the audience it builds an understanding and rapport and gets rid of any ‘us and them’ concept. It’s just ‘us’. Te Arms of Sleep is the second part of this trilogy – have you already started working on the third part? We’ve started thinking about it – the trilogy is about consciousness, having it, losing it, from an artistic point of view. So we’re thinking about what it is to wake up in the biggest metaphorical way, being fully alive and fully engaged., It should be unfolding over the next year or so.

LIZZ PAGE Read this interview in full at

Te Arms Of Sleep is at Te Assembly House 22nd – 26th May as part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Tickets are £40, £30 concs, and the event runs from 21:30 – 8am.

Find out more at and more about Te Voice Project at

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