Ramsgate sound artist appeals for help to recreate voices from Smack Boys history

Emily wants to recreate the sound of Ramsgate's smack boys Photo Daniel Wright Hadley.

Ramsgate-based artist Emily Peasgood is looking for help to recreate voices from the past with youngsters from the present.

Emily is a BASCA award winning composer and sound artist. She specialises in creating artworks in unusual public spaces that have previously included graveyards (Requiem for Crossbones, 2018; Halfway to Heaven, 2017), public lifts (LIFTED, 2016), and the Southeastern train line from Sittingbourne to Sheerness (Never Again, 2018).

She is now appealing for youngsters to help revive a 140 year old piece of local history. “I’m specifically on the lookout for boys between 8 and 16 to help me create some sound effects” Emily said. “No experience is necessary, but if they sing that is a bonus”.

Her latest project is called Smack Boys and will be installed in the Sailor’s Church at Ramsgate Harbour. “Smack Boys were 19th-20th century child apprentices who worked on the Ramsgate fishing smacks”, explained Emily. “I don’t know their exact ages, but I estimate they were between the ages of 8 and 16. They stayed above the Sailor’s Church when ashore, and later in the Home for Smack Boys next door.”

Photo Daniel Wright Hadley.

Emily wants to bring the Smack Boys back to life by creating sounds they might have made. The sounds will feature as part of a larger choral work. She says: “I want visitors to come into the Sailor’s Church, sit down, and listen to its history. They will hear the Smack Boys moving around upstairs, chatting, playing, saying their prayers, and singing hymns. It will create the sense of a time we know little about in living memory. I want to bring the Smack Boys back to life. I hope my work will emphasise that they were boys, children really, doing an exceptionally difficult job. This is why the choral part of the work is like a lullaby, an ode to the Smack Boys of Ramsgate”.

Photo Daniel Wright Hadley.

Emily will debut Smack Boys from 21-28 July, 12pm-4pm at the Sailor’s Church, Military Road, Ramsgate Harbour. It features as part of the Sonic Trail at next month’s Ramsgate Festival of Sound. The Sonic Trail will feature 12 interactive artworks, each from a different artist, at spots around the town.

Anyone interested in taking part in Emily’s project can contact Emily by emailing [email protected]

For information about Emily’s previous work visit  http://emilypeasgood.com/

The Ramsgate Festival Of Sound runs from July 20-28. Go to the website at http://www.ramsgatefestival.org

1 Comment

  1. What a great idea! it will bring new lift to the church. Love Emily’s work and can’t wait to hear it.

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