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Four Stories

Four StoriesJoshua Horsley & Jon Aveyard
00:00 / 24:16

A site-specific music composition and performance for string quartet and tuned percussion exploring the 4-storey architecture of the Harris Museum.

Composed by

Joshua Horsley & Jon Aveyard

Performed by

Rebekah Okpoti - Violin

Jon Aveyard - Violin

Caitlin Birkett - Glockenspiel

Madeleine Rolinson-Lord - Viola

Luke French - Xylophone

Joshua Horsley - Cello


Four stories is collaboration between Joshua Horsley & Jon Aveyard that constitutes a practice-based music research output that is significant in its innovative triangulation of Composition, Performance, and Site-specificity.


Performed by string quartet and tuned percussion throughout the 4-storey atrium of the Harris Museum, the work is the realisation of research that interrogates and negotiates the receptivity and resistances of composition, performance, and the Harris’ internal architecture.  Significantly, the audience completes the piece, with the staging designed to enable immersion and interaction with the music and architecture through free navigation of the 4-storey concert space. 

The composition and performance’s unique use of space interrogates architecture qua music. Consonance, dissonance, melody, rhythm, and timbre are approached from the perspective of verticality whereby the acoustic spatialisation and diffusion of musical qualities meet the quantities and receptivity of the architecture.  


Analogously, the distribution of musician’s throughout the 120ft high performance space and the free-roaming audience inform the composition.  Developed from a sequence of semi-improvisational text-based instructions, graphic notation, and cells, the composition is necessarily realised as a musical score that mediates fixed and open direction.  Spatiality, verticality, acoustics and immersion are cohesive through score and performance.


Contextually, Four Stories continues the relationships between music and architecture.  The research’s exploration of listening through architecture has commonality with the work of Korinsky Studio’s Volum (2014) and 3845 m/s (2013).  Through its verticality, it finds association with Espen Sommer Eide and Signe Lidén’s Vertical Studies (2017).


As researcher, co-composer and performer, the Four Stories project elaborates upon Horsley’s existing music and sound art praxis exploring relationships between music’s temporality and spatial objects/ places.


Produced by Into a Better Shape with support from Arts Council England, UCLan, Lancashire County Council, and Preston City Council, Four Stories was performed 28.4.19 at the Harris Art Gallery, Museum and Library, UK.

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Special thanks to Jackie Jones, Lubaina Himid, Rob Mullender, Joe Fossard, Leon Hardman, Toby Gregory, Ed Leigh, Joe Heaton, Graeme Lynch, Stephen Walker and the Harris staff.

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