I understand

Jack McNeill

Loom (n.) The slow and silent movement of water in a deep pool (Cumbria)

From 2016 – 2018 Jack McNeill developed an ambitious new concert-length work with his new group Propellor and mentor Aidan O’Rourke (LAU), on the Open Space residency programme at Snape Maltings in Suffolk.

Loom follows a watercourse backwards from sea to sky, the sound intricately plotted on an ambisonic speaker rig which envelops the audience in the sound of the ensemble and blurs the lines and expectations of genre and performance space. Recordings of beach, pool and mountain waterways become new percussion palette, and shared stories and field recordings are woven into the narrative. Illustrator Bethan Lumb’s emotive sketches chart a visual journey with the photography of John Beatty, projected from the ceiling onto a large circular ‘pool’ screen.

Propellor invites you come on a journey. Move, let your ears dive into the sound and if you feel like it, seek out your own way of listening in the space.

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Watch this space for video and recorded updates, rehearsal clips and developing plans involving outdoor interactive elements, as well as opportunities to be part of the finished work and come along to various open sessions. You can sign up to receive info at www.propellorensemble.uk.


Here is what Jack has said about his experience on Open Space so far:

“Open Space has given me the confidence and support to dream big. With a huge amount of enthusiastic and realistic help on hand, industry experts and inspiring mentors placed within reach, the project is finally off the ground and gaining speed. Communication is key, whether it relates to a need simply for time and facilities, or feedback and trouble shooting. The Open Space team have been positive and quickly on hand with details, while still keeping one eye on the long term for the project when the focus has been necessarily specific. When I applied there was no way I could’ve known just how much there was to do, but the residency raises your game and everything now seems tangible and exciting.

“The first part of the residency has been spent developing the material. The Open Space team have been really supportive of this process and now with most of the musical foundations laid we are working together to open lines of communication with the community for their involvement, to plan for the technical issues of performing the work outdoors and looking to touring possibilities and speculative venues for the project to live on beyond the residency.

“I would encourage anyone with a project in mind to apply for Open Space, it’s been challenging and inspiring in equal measure so far. Put down what it is you think will be the best version of your idea, stay open and fine tune later – that’s what they’re there for.”