Exeter’s contribution to the Festival was a sell-out event by Devon Philharmonic Orchestra in partnership with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery. The orchestra commissioned 13 new pieces, each inspired by an object in the museum’s collections. The world premieres were performed by ensembles located around the museum, while the audience moved through the galleries.

The composers took their inspiration from a wide range of museum artefacts, including a Chinese gown, microscopic diatoms, an Inuit map carved onto a bone, a collection of pocket watches, and RAMM’s famous Gerald the Giraffe. The new compositions reflected a range of musical styles with influences from Indian music, jazz and other genres.

With over 70 singers and instrumentalists around the museum, each audience member had a different experience of the performance. In an amazing finale, Leo Geyer’s Sound Histories was performed by all the musicians in six ensembles around the museum.

Commissioned composers (including five emerging composers): Ivan Andrews, Joshua Brown, Marisse Cato, Leo Geyer Darren Bloom, Jegede Tunde, Anna Matthews, Hugh Morris, Edward Nesbit, Henry George Page, Camden Reeves, Laura Reid and Lisa Robertson. In addition, the world premiere of a piece by Gwilym Simcock was performed.

Leo Geyer's Sound Histories


Devon Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery


BPO and RAMM are grateful for funding for their Festival project from Arts Council England in addition to the overall funding for the Festival

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