This article was published in 2015.
For a full weekend this September, 26th and 27th, sound artists Napoleon IVth are taking over Leeds Central Library for an installation of sound.
Napoleon IVth is the sound art and installation arm of Napoleon IIIrd and comprises of James Mabbett and Bob McDougall.
They produce large scale sound installations focusing on documenting buildings and institutions; using sounds recorded within these places and including both the public and users of the building in the final production. The aim is to get people to look differently at spaces they use regularly and to inject an unexpected layer of beauty into everyday places.
Traditionally silent places, the installation at Leeds Central Library will challenge the notion of a library as a noiseless environment. It will be used to draw attention to the increasing pressures placed on libraries, not only through cuts in funding but also through the steady progression of the digital age, libraries must evolve and are evolving in order to survive.
This sound installation will be produced from scratch in the weeks preceding the event. It draws upon both the experience of those who regularly use and rely on the library as well as the fabric and history of the grade ii listed building itself.
Live musicians will perform alongside recorded sound and music emanating from 24 separate speakers placed around Leeds Central Library.
The general public are encouraged to join in and are welcomed to bring acoustic instruments, an ear and an open mind. This event is a follow-up to an installation that Napoleon IVth created in Union Chapel (London) for Open House 2014.