Weekly Round-Up 15: When All Is Quiet

Revision. Week. *clap clap*

I don’t know why I did that.

Most of the week has been spent with me trying to be productive and revise for my upcoming exams in January. Some days it went well and others…not so much. Oh well! I think more than anything I was just thankful that this term was coming to an end. I could now go home (where I am now) and forget about survival for a few weeks.

I am going to miss some people over the Christmas break however I know it won’t be long until I am back in the swing of things.

The most exciting thing this week (just edging Liverpool topping the league) was my trip up North to York and Leeds. My plan was to see the new “When All Is Quiet” exhibition at York Art Gallery on the opening day purely because I did not want it to be spoiled for me on social media.

This exhibition was in conversation with the Kaiser Chiefs and after the initial press release I was already curious. I made the 120+ mile trip from Birmingham to York whilst listening to a playlist put together for the exhibition wondering how this music that I was hearing could be related to pieces of art. I was no longer simply curious but instead incredibly intrigued as to what the day would entail.

The walk from the station to the gallery was a pleasant one. It had been years since I last visited York and I forgot how beautiful the walled city is. The gallery itself is no different looking over exhibition square. The grand exterior is definitely a juxtaposition of the modern interior; a very good use of space.


If you follow me on my personal Twitter then some of what you are about to read may be familiar to you about my thoughts on the “When All Is Quiet” exhibition. This wonderful exhibition is mainly the project of Kaiser Chiefs‘ Simon Rix and Vijay Mistry but it is implied the others all chipped in. Despite the name, it is an exhibition which is far from quiet as it combines brilliant pieces of art with music as well as some pieces focusing on sound as a whole.

The main premise is there are pieces of art which have been picked and matched with a song. As I said before, I was unsure how the tracks chosen could tie in with art but actually I was blown away. When you’re looking at the pieces wearing the headphones it suddenly makes sense. I imagine my face was a bit of a picture because I was so captivated and into it…I can’t even explain.

It was also a learning curve finding out about the work of Pauline Oliveros and Delia Derbyshire in particular both of who are so interesting. I’ve since read up about these two brilliant women and their pioneering music history.

Janet Cardiff‘s “Forty Part Motet” is definitely a highlight of the entire exhibition. This saw forty speakers, in eight groups of five, arranged in an oval shape playing a choir version of Thomas Tallis’ “Spem in Alium Nunquam Habui”. This gives the listener a chance to hear this masterpiece from the singer’s point of view. The band said they chose this because it is how they hear their own music whilst performing. Very interesting indeed.


20181214_114046.jpgThe exhibition ended with Sarah Graham’s “Kaisers Rock!” piece which the band used as the cover of their singles album “Souvenir” released in 2012. It was one of (I would say) three things that was about or to do with them. Saying that, as I looked around the art there were certain pieces which I could see were very them.

Just before this familiar piece though was the “silent gig” which saw the use of amazing lighting effects and projected lyrics to create an immersive space which captures all attention. It was probably this aspect that drew me there the most initially but it really was only the icing on the cake…

Or, maybe that was resident artist (just for this weekend) Roger Miles’ interactive installation “The Bureau Of Found Objects” where visitors can fill in a claim form for one of his records and – if approved – can take it home. I am now the owner of Def Leppard‘s “Hysteria” on vinyl!


All-in-all, the exhibition was very clever and had me hooked from the moment I entered. So if you are interested in art or simply sound then I recommend you visit! It is running until 10th March 2019 so make sure you get yourselves there.

kcs exhibition

So…yes…this post was very much all about the exhibition but there isn’t really much to say other than I did a bit of shopping in Leeds and then headed home. It was a long way to travel but totally worth it.


Picks of the week:

Song – When All Is Quiet by Kaiser Chiefs Listen.

Album – Hysteria by Def Leppard Listen.

Gig – Calva Louise + Special Guests (Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, 10/03/19) Tickets.

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