Programme Notes

Ruth Morley - Neon Flicker

Written in 2021, during the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. We were in and out of lockdowns and the sense of anxiety and surreality was high. This piece explores the idea of life flipping in and out of focus, with flashes of normal, very far from normal, and not having a clue what normal is anymore. I was imagining the classic movie motel sign trope where the buzzing tells us all is not well. Maybe there was a kind of warped morse code in the defective sign. The sounds are deliberately ambiguous.

Images and memories of the previous year flashing through my head - loving clean air in the city, taking time, solving inequality, whales that can talk to each other unhindered by shipping, anxiety, wild fires, wild goats happily wandering into towns, hearing birds in the city, floods, storms, the warning signs, never wasting a crisis….
Flashing images and the sharp focus of helplessness in the face of huge challenges.
And flick back to ‘normal'.

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