Located in the beautifully-named town of Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh Music is planning a weekend of film, music, conversation, and walks devoted to W.G. Sebald from January 28-30, 2011 called After Sebald – Place and Re-Enchantment: A Weekend Exploration. Aldeburgh Music is a permanent performance center that has emerged out of the Aldeburgh Festival established in 1948 by Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, and Eric Crozier. (In his recent book The Rest Is Silence, music critic Alex Ross made a brief but strong connection between Sebald and Britten.) Below are some of the details of the weekend, which I’ve extracted from the organization’s website.
Friday 28 January
Patience (After Sebald) – World Premiere
Written and directed by the award-winning filmmaker Grant Gee, Patience (After Sebald) is a multi-layered essay film on landscape, art, history, life and loss. It offers a unique exploration of the life, work and influence of W.G. Sebald (1944–2001) via a long walk through coastal East Anglia tracking The Rings of Saturn. Visually and aurally innovative, Patience features contributions from Tacita Dean, Robert Macfarlane, Katie Mitchell, Rick Moody, Andrew Motion, Chris Petit, Iain Sinclair and Marina Warner. After the screening, Grant Gee will be in conversation with prize-winning writer on place, Robert Macfarlane (The Wild Places).
Saturday 29 January
Towards Re-Enchantment – Symposium
A day-long enquiry into the landscapes of Suffolk, the spirit of place and its various meanings, taking Sebald as its foundation. Presentations, discussions
and readings with Robert Macfarlane and other leading writers.
Saturday 29 January
Max: A Tribute by Patti Smith
Internationally renowned for her visionary creativity and commitment, the iconic musician, poet, writer and cultural activist Patti Smith needs no
introduction. In an exclusive concert created for this weekend, she will respond to Sebald’s book-length poem After Nature in an intimate evening of song and spoken word performance.
Sunday 30 January
Orford Ness Walk
This singular landscape has inspired many artists, including Sebald, whose visit, recorded in The Rings of Saturn, captures perfectly its unsettling presence and buried past. Take advantage of a very rare opportunity to explore this haunting location in the heart of winter.
Tickets. Weekend tickets (best tickets, excluding Walk and Lunch) are available at £55. Only Weekend tickets will be available from Wednesday 1 September; booking for individual events opens Monday 18 October.
More on Grant Gee’s film:
Grant Gee’s film Patience (After Sebald) is part of a new series of commissions from a group called artevents as part of their project The Re-Enchantment:
The Re-Enchantment is the first national project exploring culture and the rural through original artistic commissions. This ambitious project seeks to interrogate the various meanings of ‘place’ in the twenty first century. At a time when globalisation, the implications of extreme environmental change and the multiple alienations of modern society all threaten our sense of belonging, the importance of ‘place’ to the enhancement of identity and creative possibility in life and art cannot be underestimated. The Re-Enchantment aims to deliver an imaginative response through art, live performance, film and writing to one of the most pressing issues facing the contemporary world.
Note: On Saturday September 11, Gee will talk about his film with writer and critic Chris Darke and apparently will show clips at The British Library, as part of a one-day program Landscaping: Artists, Maps and Britain.