Join us for a live discussion with Gareth Smith, the lyricist and artist behind Vanishing; 55ºN, 5ºE, a spoken word, music and drama piece.
The work tells the story of the fateful events of 21 October 1904. Out in the Dogger Bank area of the North Sea, Russian warships mistook a British fishing trawler fleet for enemy Japanese warships, and opened fire. One of the fishermen killed that night was George Henry Smith, Gareth's great-grandfather.
In this online event, Gareth will explain how the Dogger Bank Incident of 1904 affected him, his family and the community of Hull. This will be followed by a screening of Vanishing 55ºN, 5ºE.
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About Vanishing 55ºN, 5ºE
Vanishing 55°N, 55°E was performed on the 113th anniversary of the disaster in October 2017, at The Dock, Hull.
Scored for electronics, saxophone, violin and spoken word, the piece sees three musicians and three dancers shift through five movements of a cycle. Brutalist noise & sub-bass, febrile drum machines, tense, resplendent strings and expressive intonations wade in and out.
The three dancers reflect the fateful passage. In many ways, they don't dance; instead channelling a fitful series of subtle instructions sent from an invisible source.
Freezing hands weave messages with long pieces of rope. Their shadows flee backwards into the water, absences are evoked, given tribute. Phantom trawlers return; voices re-animate, memories and fragments now reaching outwards, now receding on turbulent streams.
Moving between emotion and restraint, Smith communicates his fragmented narrative amongst suspense and unrest; an account of disaster and aftermath; of voids carved into a community in which family members and strong presences have been erased. Haunting traces imprinted in the collective memory; only murals, statues and memorials remain. Trauma and absence echoing down paternal lines.
About Gareth Smith
Gareth Smith is an artist and ex-engineer from Hull. Smith assembles music that reflects these industrial roots. Words are his raw material; storytelling, communication that is created, assembled, and reworked until meaning and purpose is found. He creates music, movement pieces and film to help shape a story, using a shifting cast of collaborators, changing with each project.