Two Waterside Dusk Performances Close Estuary 2021

Two Waterside Dusk Performances Close Estuary 2021

Today 15 September 2021, Estuary 2021, announces two final events that will bring to an end the second edition of the large-scale arts festival that celebrates the lives, historical impact and landscape of remarkable Thames Estuary. SILT and Nattsong are both commissioned as part of Estuary 2021 which began in May, with the main festival programme taking place across locations in South Essex and North Kent, as well as online.

SILT is an outdoor, site-specific performance created by Arbonauts, the artists Helen Galliano and Dimitri Launder, and is commissioned by Metal for Estuary 2021.

SILT is made as a response to the climate crisis. It draws on the dystopian tides of our times, exploring the challenge of rising sea levels and imagining how humans might evolve beyond an impending climate disaster. It is performed live at dusk in the water of a tidal pool by a group of community performers made up of open water swimmers from Essex, Kent and London.

Taking place from 24th to 25th September, visitors can expect to be captivated by the performance that takes its name from the fertile sediment found in abundance in the Thames Estuary, between the land and the sea. This transgressive material, shifts, changes and overlaps providing a metaphor for our present and future selves and how we will be forced to adapt when there is no separation between land and ocean.

Devised in the water with the participants over the past months, working with bodies of different ages, shapes, strengths and experiences mirrors the hope, resilience and adaptability of humans. All themes that are explored within the performance.

SILT has been commissioned by Metal for Estuary 2021 and supported by Arts Council England and the DCMS via Creative Estuary and Estuary 2021 and tickets are free.

SILT is performed as the tide turns form high to low tide, and as dusk falls – a transitional moment between this day and the next, between the present and the future.

SILT has been supported by Arts Council England and the DCMS via Creative Estuary.
Tickets are free. To book visit #Silt2021

Nattsong, written and directed by Caroline Bergvall, is an ambitious and immersive audio-visual live work for spoken voice, vocal duo, electronic projections and a sonic installation in multiple languages. It includes a new vocal composition for two voices by British composer Gavin Bryars. Caroline will be performing alongside a duo of voices, which includes soprano Peyee Chen, and with sound design by sound artist Jamie Hamilton. It is staged at Turner Contemporary, overlooking the sea.

It draws on the nomadic histories and ancient multilingual routes of medieval love poetry, and represents them against a current political backdrop of division. Material is drawn from interviews with speakers from minority languages (pre-European languages and newly settled immigrant languages). It creates space for dialogue and exchange around languages, migration and settlement. It values the relevance of transmitted speech and song for multilingual and post-national contact.

It includes a digital text work: “Passengers” specially commissioned by the Rivers Institute, an institute dedicated to new art thinking based in New Orleans and online. It will be live streamed simultaneously. It also includes a new pamphlet commissioned by Prototype (UK).

Nattsong is a culmination of Bergvall’s five year long series Sonic Atlas, which started with the internationally acclaimed outdoor sunrise performance Ragadawn (2016), which premiered at Estuary 2016. Together, they form companion pieces with one taking place at sunrise, one at evening sunset, one outdoors, one indoors, a different dream-time and process of deep and ancient reconnection with stories and landscapes, and the listeners caught in their surf. They share some of the materials and multilingual concerns developed for Ragadawn, notably the use of interviews and verbal material developed through travels with speakers of a range of minoritarian languages (both ancient pre-European languages and more newly settled immigrant languages).

Language and languages, speech and song, breath patterns and electronic frequencies all are at work in Bergvall’s mesmerising and unique poetic variations. They seek to foster a renewed understanding and enjoyment of the connections and richness of our multilingual world.
Nattsong is commissioned by Cement Fields for Estuary 2021 with project partners Rivers Institute and Prototype Press. It is supported by Arts Council England.

Tickets are free. To book visit

Estuary 2021 is the second edition of the large-scale arts festival celebrates and acknowledges the lives, landscapes and histories of the spectacular Thames Estuary. Taking place on the river itself, and along the 83 miles of South Essex and North Kent coastline, contemporary artworks, discussion and events explore and respond to powerful themes resonant to the Estuary.

Event listings

SILT by Arbonauts
Friday 24 September – Saturday 25 September 2021 6pm
Shoebury East Beach, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 8NB

NATTSONG by Caroline Bergvall
Friday 5 November 2021 6-7pm
Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate CT9 1HG

Jamie Langstone