'Fort Process' Festival, Newhaven Fort, Saturday September 13

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Fort Process is a festival in Newhaven Fort which aims to reenchant the fort and its surroundings with a programme of sitespecific music, soundart, talks and performance. The subterranean architecture, open spaces and immersive environment provide a unique setting for some of Europe’s leading experimental musicians and sound artists.
The day is bookended by performances in the Parade Ground, starting with a specially commissioned piece by Michael Finnissy, and ending with hypnotic rhythm ensemble ExEaster Island Head, the organic spontaneity of The Artaud Beats (exHenry Cow) and fiery free jazz from Peter Brötzmann.
The tunnel systems of the Eastern Magazine offer exceptional acoustic spaces for immersive sound installations and a promenade approach to experiencing them. Musicians such as John Butcher will also explore them in roving performances. New work by international artists from the world of sound art has been commissioned for the event. These include Max Eastley and Zimoun, with Sarah Angliss’ musical automata taking over the fort’s Laboratory.
A selection of experimental classical music including John Cage’s Atlas Eclipticalis and Alvin Lucier’s Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra will be performed in the Grand Magazine, another exceptionally reverberant space.
One of the most challenging spaces is the Caponier, a 70 step descent into the depths of the cliff side. This claustrophobic chamber’s medieval prison atmosphere is perfect for the harsher end of the programme, housing acts at the vanguard of noise and imposing electronics, and bathed in the psychedelic wash of The Innerstrings Light Show.
Drones, expansive acoustics and abstract projections will transform the Romney Hut into an aesthetically contrasting counterpart to the Caponier, with Thomas Köner’s isolationist soundscapes spearheading the lineup.
A programme of talks curated by Alastair Kemp, founder of Eleusian Press and Newhaven Journeyman will explore the Sussex coastline’s psychogeography and electroacoustically induced altered states. Video works will play in the fort’s theatre.
Throughout the day there will be surprise happenings: an enactment of the local folk tradition of ‘beating the bounds’, a popupgallery and guerilla performances. As an extended programme prior to the event there will be workshops, soundwalks and field recording excursions in and around Newhaven, the results of which will be used as source material for the event itself.
The festival is organised by Lost Property a new group made up of some of the leading music collectives and small press publishers on the South Coast, including Spirit of Gravity, Safehouse, Bang the Bore, Colour Out Of Space, Club Zygotic, Eleusinian Press and At the Coach House.
Built in 1860, Newhaven Fort is an alluring site, rich in human and natural history. After being decommissioned as a military facility the fort has undergone neglect and subsequent restoration, with many of the features of its inner architecture remaining intact including the rumoured ghost in the caponier. Built physically into the geology of the South Downs, it gives it a unique perspective of Newhaven town and the hills and sea of the area. Fort Process is an artistic response to this unique venue.
Tickets are £25, visit the website for full information.
Please note that entrance to the Fort on this day will be for ticket holders only.


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