Bus engine inspires new music

The sound of a bus engine has inspired a composer to create a new piece of music which passengers will be able to listen to on their journeys.

Composer Leo Geyer is one of the artists creating new work for ‘Meet Me At The Sundial’, a project run by the Barbican Theatre to explore Plymothians’ relationship with buses and the city’s Sundial.

For many years, the Sundial has been a popular place to arrange to meet for a shopping trip or catch up with friends, although this has now changed as people use mobile phones to share locations. Over the last few months, six creatives have been exploring Plymothians’ relationship with buses and this iconic meeting point.

Leo was inspired by the sound of the bus engine, which he discovered is in the key of E flat. His music for bassoon and voice is calm and meditative, building up chords, with a lyrical line over the top. Leo interviewed Managing Director of Plymouth Citybus, Richard Stevens and has used his words in the piece.

Leo said:

“Richard is so passionate about his work and the importance of public transport to connect people and places. His words inspired me to use them in the music.

“This is such an unusual project, and a great opportunity to take contemporary music to bus passengers who might not otherwise hear it. I write classical music for today’s audiences, and I’ve greatly enjoyed meeting with people across the city to create this piece.”

Bus passengers will be able to hear the Leo’s music while they travel by using a QR code on the bus.

As well as being a composer, Leo is an Associate Lecturer at Plymouth University, and conductor of the Devon Philharmonic Orchestra.

The other creatives taking part in the project are artist Chloe Georgakis, podcast creators Gabi Marcellus-Temple and Daisy Higman, video game developer Alex Robins and poet Chris White

Meet Me At The Sundial is a High Street Heritage Action Zone – Culture Programme Plymouth project run by Barbican Theatre, Plymouth in partnership with Plymouth Culture and Plymouth City Council. The project is funded by Arts Council England, HM Government, Historic England and Plymouth City Centre Partnership, and supported by Plymouth Citybus.

Along with Leo’s music, there will be poems, podcasts, photos, sketches and puzzles to experience on Plymouth’s buses from the end of March.

Published by Gillian Taylor PR

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