Lithophone launches in the Lakes
World-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie joined scientists from the University to launch a new ‘rock’ instrument in the heart of the Lake District.
The 49-key, four-octave lithophone is made up of ‘ringing rocks’ from the Cumbrian hills. It was crafted by the Leeds team in collaboration with the Brantwood Trust, local schools and quarry companies as part of Ruskin Rocks – a project which aims to introduce children to geology and the landscape of the Lake District through music.
The rocks were selected by geologists, led by Professor Bruce Yardley (School of Earth and Environment), to illustrate the rich geological heritage of the Lake District. The project is funded by Natural England, through DEFRA’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund.
The official launch saw Dame Evelyn give a special demonstration to members of the public against the stunning backdrop of Coniston Water. The musical rock instruments are now available to be played by visitors to Brantwood.
The project also features a smaller oneoctave iRock instrument which uses multimedia music technology to create interactive explanations of the geological properties of the rocks as they are played. These scientific and music technology explorations are led by Dr Kia Ng from the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Research in Music.
Dame Evelyn Glennie says: “My personal hope is that many others will follow in our footsteps and add to this initial development of an interesting instrument thus unlocking the mysteries of these ancient rocks and
For more information visit www.leeds.ac.uk/ruskinrocks