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Kelly Lovelady

Ruthless Jabiru, Decibel & Cat Hope | The Holy Presence of

Chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru and digital score pioneers Decibel New Music Ensemble combine forces for a programme inspired by the unholy presence of climate change in the Welsh coastal town of Fairbourne.

Following heavy storms and tidal surges in 2014, Gwynedd County Council controversially announced it would no longer repair Fairbourne’s flood defences indefinitely and with the projected rise in sea levels, the village will no longer be inhabitable from 2054. At this point all Fairbourne’s homes, roads, shops and infrastructure will be dismantled and the area reverted to marshland.

Forecast to be the UK’s first climate refugees, Fairbourne’s 700+ residents reject the decision that their village “isn’t worth saving”, with many initially skeptical of the climate modelling that led to its condemnation. The county’s announcement immediately decimated property values, financing and insurance options for its community; and severely affected hospitality and tourism, with local councillor and activist Stuart Eves describing the situation as “lives destroyed on a supposition”.

In the years since, the people of Fairbourne have maintained their characteristic optimism, with new businesses forged and the liveliness of the community undamped. But the question remains: as extreme weather and sea levels continue to increase, who decides their fate?

Join us in the Grand Entrance Hall of the world’s first ever underwater tunnel for an immersive performance to resist the rising seas


Kaija Saariaho Neiges

Lindsay Vickery Bascule (European premiere)

Tansy Davies Feather and Groove

Pedro Alvarez Intersperso-Ultradiano (European premiere)

Julius Eastman The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc

Cat Hope Never at Sea (World premiere)


Decibel New Music Ensemble

Ruthless Jabiru

Cat Hope electric bass

Kelly Lovelady conductor

Aaron Wyatt conductor


Decibel New Music Ensemble (Australia) is a 6-piece collective focusing on the integration of acoustic and electronic instruments in chamber music performance. Decibel are world-leading interpreters of graphic notations and pioneer digital score formats for composition and performance including the Decibel ScorePlayer App for iPad, enabling coordinated performance of graphic notations. This collaboration completes the ensemble’s first UK tour.

Ruthless Jabiru (UK) is a chamber orchestra of professional Australian musicians in the UK merging contemporary music and Activism in an effort to promote compassion, sustainability and social consciousness. Under the leadership of its founding Artistic Director Kelly Lovelady, Ruthless Jabiru delivers curated performance events themed around humanitarian, sustainability and social justice stories in collaboration with the UK campaigning sector.

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