Liverpool’s eighth annual LightNight is coming to the city on Friday 19 May, with hundreds of free cultural events on offer. The event will bring together over 100 arts organisations, including 900 artists and performers, all taking part to respond to the theme of time. The toughest part of LightNight is deciding what to see; we’ve done the hard work for you and picked 12 events to get you started…
1. Rotation Eighteen269
Metropolitan Cathedral, 18:30 – 21:30
18,269 days since its consecration, see the awe-inspiring interior of the Metropolitan Cathedral like you’ve never seen it before as renowned new media artist Andy McKeown presents a new large-scale light performance in collaboration with the world-famous Metropolitan Cathedral Choir.
Taking inspiration from the Cathedral’s architectural features, in particular the circular Lantern Tower, light is projected within the building itself while the choir presents a rare live performance of Thomas Tallis’ Lamentations alongside organ music by Olivier Messaien and Arvo Part, performed by Matthew Searles, in a profound and breathtaking collision of old and new.
Victoria Gallery and Museum, 21.00 – midnight
Coinciding with the exhibition of Liverpool born artist John Higgins, who found global success as a comic book artist and writer for 2000AD, DC and Marvel, see the famous red brick VG&M like you’ve never seen it before. In a specially commissioned installation, the clock tower plays host to a giant Dredd, and his army, who will oversee the creation of a mutant ‘Cursed Earth’ dandelion. Dandelions have long been a way to tell the time of day by blowing away the seeds, and this time it will be no different. Help bring the dandelion to life.
LJMU John Lennon Building, 18:00 – 23:00
In a new commission, artists Logan & Wilcox create a new large-scale work that builds on previous experiment ‘neu collective consciousness’ on LightNight 2016. Through greater mental effort participants were able to manipulate the audio-visual environment and in Zugzwang (A situation in chess when the obligation to make a move in one’s turn is a serious, often decisive, disadvantage) multiple users will have a degree of passive authorship; blurring the roles of artist and audience. The focus of this experiment will be how participants can act as ‘conductors’ and influence the biometric data generated by the other participants in the system.
4. Light Field
Ropewalks Square, 21:00 – 23:00
A collaboration between sound artist Bill Thompson and dance artist Saffy Setohy, Light Field invites people to both become and activate the installation. Lo-fi kinetically powered sound and light objects create a field of gently glowing beacons, controlled by choreography and movement. The sound score will be made of the sound of light and Natural Radio to complete what promises to be a stunning visual performance as the light fades.
5. Soundtrack of our Lives
Dorothy, Baltic Triangle, 17:00 – 23:00
Music has the power to transport the listener back to a specific time and place…like an audio time machine. Dorothy invites visitors to take part in an installation and share their memories of personal tracks (and where in the world they take them) to create a map of musical memories and a co-curated playlist.
6. The Super Sonic Assembly
Liverpool Cathedral, 18:45 – 23:00
Bridging past, present and future through song and dance, The Super Sonic Assembly showcases the evolution of music since WWII. This fun, interactive family event features choirs, community participation and a blistering DJ set of great music (from then and now) by Greg Wilson.
7. DUUOME 360
St George’s Hall 17:00 – 23:00
Audio- visual collective MorestateLab presents their latest project based on a geodesic dome structure. Covered with projection mapping and digital LED strips, the dome creates a mesmerising sequence of sound and visuals, controlled from the inside by two artists in real time. Walk around inside the dome and experience the installation as it happens.
8. Time Out of This World in Brass
Liverpool Town Hall, 19:00 – 21:30
Two special pop-up concerts by The Liverpool Walton Band of the Salvation Army performing James Horner’s classic soundtrack to The Land Before Time, alongside off-piste surprises and family favourites all rooted in the notion of Time. Takes place in the Grand Ballroom.
9. Flow2: The Pioneers
Open Eye Gallery, 19:00 – 22:00
Internationally renowned pianist David Braid and innovative 13-piece orchestra Sinfonia UK Collective perform a bewitching classical-jazz crossover exploring time and landscape.
Features newly-commissioned compositions on the subject of time and temporality. David is joined by the 13-piece Sinfonia UK Collective, an innovative ensemble dedicated to bringing new and unusual compositions to life, conducted by Liverpool-born Lee Tsang.
10. Candlelit Labyrinth
Northern Lights, 17:00 – 23:00
A unique spectacle and experience. Enter a realm where time doesn’t exist and step into the moment with a mindful candle-lit labyrinth walk set within the expansive space of Solstice. Created by artist Alex Irving, supported by LJMU Screen School and soundtracked by choral and meditative audio.
11. LightNight at Liverpool Philharmonic
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 17:30 – 22:00
An evening of diverse musical experiences awaits! Classical guitarist Craig Ogden performs in the Music Room, the Rubber Duck Orchestra then takes to the stage. Finally, composer Jonathan Raisin will perform ’40 Times’, a specially-composed piece celebrating 40 years of Roger Hill’s ‘Pure Musical Sensations’, BBC Radio Merseyside’s alternative music show.
12. LightNight After Party: Time Capsule
Constellations, 22:00 – 02:30
Keep your LightNight going into the early hours! A live future-Polaroid / AV installation meets club project, presented by artist Sam Wiehl and soundtracked by the indomitable Andy Votel (Finders Keepers). Enter Constellations via the Time Capsule scanning booth and see your image evolve into a digital memory bank played out across a bespoke AV installation, degrading and morphing during the course of the show. Finish off your festival with this hedonistic horological mash-up; a fitting soiree to bring down the curtain on an incredible evening.
The full festival line up and early bird tickets are available at LightNight Liverpool