Permutations is a roaming performance artwork. It is a new piece of music for six recorded violin parts, composed in parallel with the design of six chambers which form its acoustic setting.

Permutations is a project exploring the social capacity of architecture and music. It consists of a new piece of music written by composer Freya Waley-Cohen, performed and recorded by violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and an architectural setting designed by Finbarr O’Dempsey & Andrew Skulina. Both the music and its setting are developed simultaneously, each acting as a muse for the other.

The composition is written for six violin parts in counterpoint. The architectural proposal spatially distributes and affects the recorded solo violin parts, which are housed within six individual chambers. Each chamber has an adaptable lining of doors, encouraging the audience member to adjust and transform the levels of acoustic enclosure. A central interstitial space is formed between and shared by these chambers, in which all of the violin parts are experienced as equally balanced and combined as a complete ensemble. In navigating the performance, the listener is presented with the opportunity to experience the solo, duet or full ensemble in counterpoint, contingent upon their movement through the space. Through interaction, the audience explore the different textures and counterpoints that emerge within the music.

The piece is structurally autonomous, and is constructed out of a robust system of prefabricated parts so that it can be erected and dismantled with ease in order to enable it to tour multiple venues. The architectural proposal is interactive and changeable, the audience encouraged to play the intervention like an instrument, affecting the degree of acoustic enclosure in the space and forming an intrinsic part of the performance.

Permutations premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival 2017, in the Jerwood Kiln at Snape Maltings and was open to the public from 10th – 16th of June.

The project is generously supported by Snape Maltings' Open Space residency programme, and Amina Technologies. The chambers were constructed by Tandem Set and Scenery.



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Freya Waley-Cohen - Composer

Freya’s music has been performed by musicians including Orchestra of the Swan, CHROMA ensemble,  Richard Watkins, Huw Watkins and Mark Simpson.  She was 2013 Composer in Residence at Northern Chords festival, Sage Gateshead, 2013 Apprentice Composer with Orchestra of the Swan, and is Associate Composer of Non-Classical, Magnard Ensemble and Reverie Choir. Freya was a Britten-Pears Young Artist at Aldeburgh Music in both 2014 and 2015. Her music has been performed in the Sage Gateshead, Spitalfields Festival, The Ryedale Festival, The British Film Institute, Snape Maltings Aldeburgh, Dartington, The National Portrait Gallery, and Kew Gardens during the 2014 Intoxication Season. While at the Royal Academy of Music, Freya was awarded the 2013 J.E. West Prize, and was 2014-2015 Manson Fellow. She is a founding member and artistic director of Listenpony

Tamsin Waley-Cohen - Violinist

Born in London in 1986, Tamsin Waley-Cohen enjoys an adventurous and varied career. In addition to concerts with the Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and BBC orchestras, amongst others, she has been associate artist with the Orchestra of the Swan and works with conductors including Andrew Litton and Tamás Vásáry. She enjoys a duo partnership with Huw Watkins, whose Concertino she premiered, and together they have recorded for Champs Hill and Signum Records, for whom she is a Signum Classics Artist. Her love of chamber music led her to start the Honeymead Festival, now in its ninth year, and she is also artistic director of the Sunday Series at London’s Tricycle Theatre. In 2016-2017 she will be a recipient of the ECHO Rising Stars Awards. She studied at the Royal College of Music and her teachers included Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ruggiero Ricci, and András Keller.

Finbarr O’Dempsey - Architectural Designer

Finbarr O’Dempsey MA(Cantab) DipArch studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and London Metropolitan University, where he was a member of the Free Unit. He worked with DSDHA and Delvendahl Martin Architects in London before establishing his own Glasgow-based studio with Andrew Skulina. His experience in practice ranges from the design of residential and commercial interiors, through to the creation of exhibitions, gallery spaces, artists’ studios, housing and the refurbishment and extension of listed buildings. He has contributed to numerous competition-winning proposals for various clients, including charities, local authorities and developers and has actively participated in a variety of festivals and public events run by well-known cultural organisations including the British Council and the London Festival of Architecture. Finbarr has taught as a design tutor at the University of Cambridge and been guest critic at the Cass & Kingston schools of architecture. He previously helped run Reach Cambridge Summer School’s ‘Introduction to Architecture’ course alongside Jennifer Gutteridge. He is an Associate Member of the RIAS & the RIBA.

Andrew Skulina - Architectural Designer

Andrew Skulina BArch DipArch studied architecture at the Glasgow School of Art before completing his diploma at London Metropolitan University, where he was a member of the Free Unit. Prior to establishing Glasgow-based O'Dempsey Skulina, Andrew worked with Avanti Architects and Bennetts Associates, where he gained experience in the construction of a number of public-sector projects. He has also worked with Colette Architecture on several residential projects and the design for a new gallery in East London. Andrew has a sustained interest in research and publication, having recently worked on a book with Roger Zogolovitch and Solidspace, published in 2015. He has also prepared artworks and exhibitions with artist Sinta Tantra, and architect Pierre D’Avoine, and worked with Edinburgh-based Skoogmusic, a company specialising in accessibility in music. Andrew has been a guest critic at several schools of architecture, including the University of Cambridge and the Cass.



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