2011: Museums at Night, Norwich Castle

A Nightingale Floor (for a keep with a swan’s wing flute)

On Saturday 14th May 2011, I performed four times throughout the evening, at hourly intervals. The first three sets consisted of a public creep across the keep floor, with everyone attempting to get to the other side without stepping on a squeaky floorboard. If someone did step on one they remained on the spot with their hand raised. I then marked an X on the squeaky floorboard. Over the course of the evening the floor became spotted with these markers, and in the final set I asked everyone just to step on the points for 30s (like stepping-stones or a dance mat) in unison, weaving a noisy route across the floor.

I am hugely indebted to Johanna Hallsten for introducing me to the concept of Nightingale Floors when we shared a hotel room at ANTI Festival. This piece was a reference in title only, and was more about movement in a space than the mechanical complexities of the Japanese originals.

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