SPILL - Did you see the mesmerising CHORUS on the Cornhill?

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of SPILL festival. Chorus is a monumental and impressive installation of kinetic sound sculptures - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

One of the key talking points of this year's SPILL festival was CHORUS, which attracted audiences to Ipswich town centre each evening.

Walking up to the metal structures on the darkness of the Cornhill it is easy to see why they have caused such a large amount of discussion in the town. 

I chose to visit Chorus after popping into the Gaia installation in the town hall, and it was great to be able to see two of the star attractions of SPILL in one evening - audiences were able to watch and listen to CHORUS at 6pm and 8pm between Wednesday - Saturday.

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill

Chorus by Ray Lee on Ipswich Cornhill was one of the key talking points of this year's SPILL festival - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

As I waited for the start of the performance on a relatively warm autumn evening alongside my partner and daughter, there was definitely anticipation in the air, in the same way you wait for fireworks to start or the big Christmas light switch on. 

Unlike the usual Christmas light switch on, CHORUS started dead on schedule, my daughter jumped as the town hall bells rang out at 8pm without a hitch, and then the industrial metal sculptures started to spin and make their eerie sounds. 

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival. Chorus is a monumental and

Crowds at SPILL festival in Ipswich town centre - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

For me there was a strong War of The Worlds vibe, and as the momentum built families and others watching moved towards the area of the Cornhill where the metal machines had started to spin. 

Ray Lee, the artist behind CHORUS, has taken the performance around the world, speaking ahead of SPILL he said: "Everywhere it goes it really seems to transfix and engage audiences.

"I think the huge scale of the machines towering above the audiences, and the warm web of sound they emit create a really fascinating and memorable experience for people" 

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I have to agree with Ray, I found the sound of CHORUS to be quite mesmerising and did start to wonder if we were all about to be brainwashed. 

Part of the enjoyment for me was watching the passers by and the different ways they responded to CHORUS. 

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival

One of the CHORUS machines lit up against the night sky - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

One young man slowed down slightly in bemusement, clinging on tightly to his takeaway, a young woman with her friends went up to SPILL volunteers asking them what exactly was going on. 

Another lady decided I was a good person to tell that she found the whole thing disturbing - my daughter was of a similar opinion,  proving my point that CHORUS and SPILL didn't fail to get people in Ipswich talking about art.

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival

Crowds on the Cornhill enjoying the SPILL festival - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The Cornhill became busier as the structures spun and the audience tended to gravitate towards the centre where you could properly hear all the different sounds and get the full effect. 

For those wary of crowds, there was lots of space to distance themselves from others. I enjoyed wandering around the edge of the Cornhill to take it all in. 

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival

CHORUS in front of the Town Hall in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Speaking about the festival, Mr Lee said: "SPILL is such a great festival. It's one of the leading performance festivals in Europe if not the world and it's in Ipswich! How great is that?

"I love the combination of engaging accessible work, especially some of the things on this year like the amazing luminarium and Gaia, with really fascinating and unusual performances and events that you simply won't see anywhere else."

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival.

CHORUS spinning on the Cornhill with a crowd watching on - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival. Chorus is a monumental and

Chorus by Ray Lee on the Cornhill as part of this year's SPILL festival. Chorus is a monumental and impressive installation of kinetic sound sculptures - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown


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