Caroline Bergvall - Nattsong (live stream) from Estuary 2021 on Vimeo.
Created and performed by Bergvall live from Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent, with unique contributions from composer Gavin Bryars, soprano Peyee Chen, sound designer Jamie Hamilton, film-maker Andrew Delaney and a brilliant creative team, ‘Nattsong’ is the final stand-alone part of a searching and singular trilogy around languages and poetries in movement and migration, sung, spoken, recorded, that began with ‘Ragadawn’ (2016), staged at daybreak in locations as diverse as Marseille and the Isle of Skye, and continued with ‘Conference of the Birds’ (2018), and now closing with this rich nocturnal call, premiering at Turner Contemporary overlooking the sea. The performances all share materials and multilingual concerns developed through travels with speakers of a range of minority languages (both ancient pre-European languages and more newly settled languages).
Across Bergvall’s multi-lingual and multi-modal poetic practice, words offer routes of investigation into the nomadic and fluid history of our linguistic traditions and the ways in which words have come to carry histories of migration and environmental shift within them. Against the churning sea, Bergvall’s ghostly and spacious ‘Nattsong’ seeks out the elemental connections of language and the ways in which words can become agents of resistance against the forces of precarity, xenophobia, social isolation, and growing political divisiveness at work in our shared world.