Pilgrim installation at Mottisfont

Speakers mounted into wood in a circle of beech trees at Mottisfont

A sound experience in the Beech Circle combining Japanese percussion and bass baritone voice, inspired by Mottisfont’s heritage as a place of pilgrimage.

Hywel Davies is a composer, sound artist and installation artist. His wide-ranging output includes the sound installation Test Polyphony which was installed in the Cellarium here from June 2013 to April 2014.

This new art installation taps into the experience of the pilgrim in its widest sense - be it as an outsider, observer or wanderer. As part of the preparation for Pilgrim Hywel made two visits to Izumo in north-west Japan site of the largest Shinto shrine in Japan, also a place of pilgrimage. Pilgrim reflects on this and other journeys Hywel has made.

The work is written for Japanese virtuoso percussionist Kuniko Kato and Englsh bass-baritone Laurence Williams. The music runs on a loop, broadcast from speakers embedded in four hemlock tree trunks sited within the Beech Circle. The installation will be running from November 2021 to April 2022.