Composer Harry Whalley Presents the World Premiere of ‘On Memory’

Wednesday 24th May 2023

‘On Memory’ is a collaboration between composer Harry Whalley, Professor Adam Zeman and author Alexander McCall Smith, exploring memory through music, science and poetry

Composer Harry Whalley and the University of the Creative Arts present the world premiere of ‘On Memory’, at 7.30PM, Kings Place on 27 May 2023, exploring memory through music and poetry.

The evening will include a performance of the work by the acclaimed Gildas String Quartet and Soprano Sarah Dacey, with poetry and scientific exploration informed by neurologist Professor Adam Zeman and celebrated author Alexander McCall Smith.

Answering the question ‘how do memories make us who we are?’ Whalley has composed each movement of the work to explore a different capacity of memory: How memories are formed before birth from a mother’s song; how autobiographical memories are encoded in our minds; and how memories decline in old age.

Music has the power to transport us to different times and places, evoking memories and emotions that might have long been forgotten. ‘On Memory’ allows us to explore the science behind music and memory through a poetic scientific explanation.

Poetry is a powerful tool for exploring the depth of our memories, unlocking emotions that we thought were long forgotten. It’s a medium that allows us to capture the essence of our experiences and transport us back to specific moments in time, triggered by the words of Alexander McCall Smith and Professor Adam Zeman.

McCall Smith and Zeman will use poetry to weave a tapestry of memories, drawing from their own life experiences and those of others. They will challenge us to look beyond the surface of our memories, to dig deeper and extract the emotions and hidden truths that lie within.

Whalley’s composition is catalysed by the strings of the Gildas String Quartet and the voice of Sarah Dacey, taking audiences on a journey through the joys and sorrows of human experience, exploring themes of love and loss, of hope and despair, and of the deep connections that bind us together as human beings, that are only unlocked by sonic influences.

You can get a taste of what to expect in the trailer video below, and you can get tickets to this one of a kind event, that fuses both science and music to explore our memories here.