MARTYN WARE
& ZACHARY EASTWOOD-BLOOM

to be invisible
11 August - 11 September

‘We are only as significant as the least of us’


Curtis Mayfield III




MARTYN WARE & ZACHARY EASTWOOD-BLOOM


to be invisible
11 August - 11 September

Soundscape composed and arranged by:
Martyn Ware, Charles Stooke and Elena Ware
Inspired by the song ‘To Be Invisible’ written by:
Curtis Mayfield
Lyrics performed by:
Haroun Yamou
Mixed and 3d spatialised by:
Martyn Ware and Asa Bennett for illustrious
Additional sound by Amplify Studios at Rugby Portobello Trust:
Asia–lei Sidelle, Christevient Tiamuna, Denis Marian Danescu, Edward Kau, Omar Gommari, Shanel Nelson, Shakira Nelson and Grace Albertine

Hear from the members here

With thanks to Echo Integration, Eclipse and Rapscallion Soda
to be invisible is a three-dimensional soundscape inspired by current events associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, and the international and national outpouring of support for change. Based on the original composition by Curtis Mayfield ‘To Be Invisible’ from 1974, elements of the original song are changed and mutated, the lyrics narrated in a transatlantic accent, surrounded by the ghostly activity of sirens and a heartbeat. Audio and sound contributions were gathered from young musicians of Amplify Studios at the Rugby Portobello Trust to create the final composition. Martyn Ware has been a pioneer in sonic muralism for over 20 years and much of his work is collaborative and made for public space.

“It's about giving people a voice and what better way to give them a voice than to actually use voice as a medium. I believe public performance art and soundscapes are the 21st century bandstands and will bring people back to the civic realm. There's a new and urgent need for people to interpret their experiences and share them, to think laterally about the power of street art and not to just think of it as somebody tagging a wall. There is a real opportunity for significant narrative to be brought back into the centre of cities and to engage with people in an authentic way.”
The soundscape embodies a contemplative, hallucinatory ‘fever dream’ in sound and speech, enveloping the listener in a contemplation on how disempowerment, dissolution and resignation needs to be transformed into re-empowerment, re-engagement and ultimately real hope for a new future. Curtis Mayfield has always been an inspiration for Martyn's writing, and the theme, lyrical content and delivery of the original recording is hauntingly relevant in today’s turbulent times. The lyrics in particular work as a kind of soliloquy, a powerful and poignant meditation around the idea of cultural subservience and subjugation. The emotional content is even more striking when read as prose, surrounded by a deeply affecting immersion into a troubled, fever-dream sound world.

Zachary Eastwood-Bloom is an artist who uses 3D technologies to tell stories. The pulsating, revolving head on the LED screens is taken from a 3D scan of actor and singer Haroun Yamou, and using software which analyses the volume and speed of particular elements of the audio, including the heartbeat as a pulse, he imagines what racism physiologically might feel like.

To Be Invisible
Written by Curtis Mayfield, 1974
To be invisible
Will be my claim to fame
A man with no name
That way, I won't have to feel the pain

Indispensable
Just a plain old human being
Today, don't mean a thing
In a world that's so mean

A world that seems not for me
So privately, I'll be invisible
That way, I won't have to explain a thing,
if you know what I mean
I won't even have to be here, on the scene

It's so ridiculous
But the strife and the bliss
Will go right on through, right on through me
To have missed

All the things that hurt your soul
No one would ever know
They'd never know
Life so preciously
Just don't seem to be
As free as they claim freedom to be

Things are going fast
To have found that all is in the past
To have to take what you can get
Sure can make a heart upset

Inconspicuous
I must behave myself
For somebody else
Who may have a little fame, fortune and wealth

It's so ridiculous
But the strife and the bliss
Will go right on through, right on through me
To have missed

A world that seems not for me
So privately, I'll be invisible
That way, I won't have to explain a thing,
if you know what I mean
I won't even have to be here, on the scene
It's so ridiculous
But the strife and the bliss
Will go right on through, right on through me
To have missed

All the things that hurt your soul
No one would ever know
They'd never know

Life so preciously
Just don't seem to me
As free as they claim freedom to be

Things are going fast
To have found that all is in the pasT
To have to take what you can get
Sure can make a heart upset

So I'll be invisible
Invisible
Invisible

Martyn Ware
Martyn was born in 1956 in Sheffield and in 1978 formed The Human League. He formed the production company/label British Electric Foundation in 1980 and Heaven 17 the same year. As a record producer he has worked with Tina Turner, Terence Trent D'Arby, Chaka Khan, Erasure, Marc Almond and Mavis Staples. He founded Illustrious Company with Vince Clarke in 2001 to exploit the creative possibilities of three- dimensional sound technology, in collaboration with artists around the world. He created sonic architectural works for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2006.

Martyn is a Visiting Professor at C4DM at Queen Mary College, University of London, a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, a member of the LA-based think- tank group Matter, Writers Guild of America, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, and Board Member of the Ivors Academy.

Zachary Eastwood-Bloom
Born in 1980, Zachary studied ceramics at Edinburgh College of Art before completing an MA at the Royal College of Art in London. He is primarily interested in working with 3D digital technologies to support storytelling across a range of media. Recently he has undertaken residencies with the Pangolin Bronze Foundry and was digital artist in residence with the Scottish Ballet resulting in new bodies of work ‘Divine Principals’ and ‘Technology//Mythology// Allegory’. Zachary is currently based in Glasgow.



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