Daniel Figgis's City Hall
Over 1 to 3 February the rotunda of Dublin’s City Hall will play host to a new interactive composition by Daniel Figgis. The three-day installation will include three performances starting at 6.30pm (1 February), 6pm (2 February) and 3pm (3 February). The piece, titled City Hall is said to change over the course of the performances, steered by the actions of the audience.
Figgis says that the work is in celebration of his native Dublin City. The Journal of Music asked Figgis, a former member of the band the Virgin Prunes, to explain a little more about how City Hall will work.
I have long wished to work within the Dublin City Hall Rotunda. The acoustic peculiar to this space was the primary consideration, even determinant, in this. Slowly the idea of an aleatoric approach to this piece started to appeal to me and what better way to work towards an ill-defined consummation than through the co-operation of a suitably curious and hopefully proactive group of strangers, with my hands figuratively tied behind my back?
City Hall is specifically designed for the unusual and provocative properties of this particular space — so far, so Figgis. But this is an entirely interactive work — the audience members generate the trigger sequence and the composition and density, or otherwise, of sound is entirely down to the group will and not to mine. This is, if nothing else, the sound of surrender.
I will make no on-site intervention or contribution whatsoever in the construction of the piece. I am simply supplying the building blocks. Here is your alphabet. Now write a sentence.
I am intrigued by the notion that I (in that I will be simply listening), and my crew (who will be simply facilitating but in no other sense taking part in the realisation of the work over this three hour/three day period), might perhaps be thought of as the real audience for this work.
City Hall changes over the course of the three performances as new building blocks are introduced each day to aggregate musical incidents including those occurring on the previous day(s). In this way the fully realised piece should differ substantively from day one to day three. I have certain expectations of how the affectuation of the piece will sound and feel but I have little but educated guesswork to colour and inform these expectations.
All of my work, particularly since the late nineties/early noughties, has encouraged audience participation. At City Hall participation is mandatory. Without participation there is, in this particular case, no event.
Tickets cost €10 and those aged under twelve can go for free. A three-day pass is also available. Tickets can be booked here.