New 12 minute sound installation at Ripon Courthouse Museum from 9th February to 31st May 2019. The Courthouse Museum is open 7 days a week 1pm - 4pm and 10am - 4pm during school holidays.
Commissioned by Ripon Museums Trust.
The museum is manned by volunteers and a small fee applies.
A work commissioned for the historic Ripon courthouse space, focussing on the ‘voice’ of a former defendant accused of shoplifting in 1853, 14 year old Ann Lupton, those of her co-defendants Ann Elsworth and Frances Paylor, and the shouting of the courtroom public gallery. The installation mixes spoken word with sung vocals, and in this case has a musical approach reminiscent of a collision between AG Cook’s shiny pop surfaces and a rowdy chorus made up of Mieskuoro Huutajat (Men’s Choir Shouters of Finland).
The work’s spoken, shouted and sung words and music are created using a variety of ‘stolen’ sources, including: the chords of the Taylor Swift song ‘I Did Something Bad’, the Jean Genet novel ‘The Thief’s Journal’, the childhood memories of museum volunteers Moira Smith and Kath Beeken, a York Herald court report, and a Victorian children’s hymn from the period, ‘Do No Sinful Action’, that Ann may have sung herself.
Ann’s hymn singing, shoplifting spirit has returned to us via these fragments, and on the way has picked up a liking for the idea of thieving (and for contemporary pop phrasings) as revolt and liberation. Her story builds to a disorderly evocation of some liberatory mischief involving choir practice and a malfunctioning bellows organ. Thanks to Neive Zenner, Amelia Andrews and Highside Singers.