A ‘Welcome Chorus’ with Kentish lyrics to open at Turner Contemporary

An impression of The Welcome Chorus Image: Pentagram

Turner Contemporary,  with Kent Libraries, has commissioned Japanese sound artist, electronic musician and Margate resident Yuri Suzuki to make a new artwork as part of the Margate NOW festival.

The Welcome Chorus will bring together sound, sculpture and artificial intelligence (AI) in an interactive piece installed on Turner Contemporary’s terrace.

Twelve horns, each representing a different district of Kent, will continually sound lyrics which are generated  by a piece of AI software. The sculpture references the origin of the word ‘Kent’; thought to derive from ‘kanto’, meaning horn or hook.

Through workshops and gatherings at Kent Libraries, people from all over the county have been contributing lyrics to the AI data bank about their views of Kent.

Lyrics include submissions about the history of Kent, its landscapes and estuaries, changes to industry and services, the relationship between urban and rural areas and perceptions around journeys, migration and movement. The colours of each horn have been selected by library staff to reflect different areas in Kent.

Visitors will be able to speak or sing into a unique ‘conductor’ sculpture. Their words will then be added to the piece.

Yuri Suzuki Photo Mark Cocksedge

Yuri said: “I have been working on a lot of social and interactive projects recently, all based around speaking, listening and composition. I have found that music and sound are always able to transcend gender, age, culture and locality.

“I am looking forward to seeing how the people of Kent can come together to create this piece with me, and how we can playfully interact with and humanise artificial intelligence. As a new resident in Margate I feel excited about the area’s creativity and am looking forward to seeing this project connect people during the festival.”

Yuri’s works explore sound  and the relationship between people and their environments – questioning how both music and sound evolve to create unique personal experiences. He has exhibited in solo and group displays nationally and internationally, including at Tate Britain, MOMA Tokyo and MoMA New York.  This month Yuri opened a solo exhibition at the Design Museum in London, Sound in Mind, which will run until January 2020.

The Welcome Chorus opens at Turner Contemporary on September 28 and runs until January 12.