Steam tug Daniel Adamson (The Danny) is taking part in the Abandon Normal Devices Festival this summer.

By the Sound of Things by Kate Davies is an immersive audiovisual experience onboard the unique steam-powered, Mersey-built boat.  From the deck of one of the last surviving Manchester Ship Canal tugs, the audience is invited to feel the vast echoes and epic scale of the modern shipping industry and consider the extent and impact of our insatiable consumerism on local and global environments.   

Submerged beneath the waterline, mariners rest below deck between watches – their cradle song is the aching sounds of a ship against water.  A nautical soundtrack transports wayfarers to a vast and veiled world – a subaquatic acoustical mirage.  Featuring deep sea hydrophone recordings depicting the marine ecosystem disrupted by man-made ship noise, this hypnotic binaural sound work tells the story of the journey of a container as it travels from the surface to the bottom of the ocean.

An accompanying film focusing on the world above water presents a collision of the extraordinary and the banal that defines the image of global sea trade – an absurd narrative of ordinary things.  Containers loaded and unloaded, the rhythmic motions of cranes performing an industrial-scale ballet, the transporting vessels of the global shipping industry forge sonic trails across oceans to bring us our things; the necessary and frivolous, the coveted and the disposable.

By the Sound of Things will be presented on board The Daniel Adamson from Friday 9th - Sunday 11th Jul 2021.  Usually moored in Liverpool, The Danny will be moored in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, for the summer.  More details on how to experience the work and boat trip dates will be released soon.

The Abandon Normal Devices Festival takes place between 27th May - 11th Jul 2021, and explores the post-industrial landscapes of the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey, with an ambitious programme of in-real life field trips via augmented reality seascapes, immersive voyages and floating laboratories, expanded through an online programme of radical and disruptive artworks, film screenings, performances, talks and workshops, with more to be announced.

Explore the full festival programme

Read more about the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, one of our Shipshape Network North projects.

Learn more about our other Shipshape Network North projects. 

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