A composition for Kew Gardens Princess of Wales Glass House, performed by Reverie
Freya had written a site-specific piece for one of the glasshouses at Kew Gardens, as part of their intoxication series. The piece was part of her research into presenting music to listeners outside of the traditional concert hall context, and especially in a spatialised composition. The choir for the piece, Reverie, was split up into groups of solos, duets and ensembles and positioned in specific parts throughout the route of the glass house. The long glass house is made up of a ten interconnected rooms with glass doors, which form the main route through the building from one entrance to the other. Freya spoke of each piece being composed specifically for the acoustic environment of each room, which had different qualities based on the plants they were to accommodate. A number of the exotic plants required high levels of humidity, which had a great deal of effect on the perception of an acoustic environment.
During the performance, the choir were mostly static, as visitors were free to wander between performers. At the end of the performance, the entire choir walked towards a single point in the glasshouse, all singing their individual parts. The final part of the performance saw the full choir coming together to sing in the same vicinity. Walking through the glasshouse was helpful in providing insight into the themes running throughout Freya’s compositions, of which Permutations is a development.