book now: fort process
If ever there was a reason to head along the coast to Newhaven, this is it, because on Saturday 22nd September, Newhaven Fort will become a festival of art and music. The third edition of bi-annual festival Fort Process returns to transform the extraordinary resonant space into a one-day celebration of the senses. Festival-goers are invited to wander through underground tunnels, caverns and old armaments rooms, discovering immersive artwork around each and every corner, before climbing back into the sunshine. Now, this is right up our street!
Built in 1860, Newhaven Fort is rich in human and natural history, making it the perfect site for a celebration of the senses. Ticket holders can expect a cocktail of audiovisual deliciousness, from performances and installations to walks, workshops and live art. Whilst artists will be hidden around the fort, musicians will perform on old gun emplacements high up on the fort’s ramparts so those soaking up the sounds will have an unbeatable sea view, too. Lost Property Arts Collective are the team behind Fort Process, focusing a lot on discovery and encouraging guests to roam freely to have their own unique sonic and visual adventures. Be warned, though, the interior of the fort can be quite mysterious and a little disorientating at times, so try not to get lost in the tunnels!
The acoustics of the site are pretty unique, too, so you’re in for a sensory treat as musicians lure you into their world for the day. American artist Rhys Chatham will perform his solo trumpet piece ‘Pythagorean Dream’, made up of phased loops of hypnotic layers of trumpet that will send you into a brassy trance. The sounds that come out of the fort won’t be your average show either, far from it in fact, but a performance from David Thomas Broughton is the closest you’ll get to hearing songs at Fort Process, but his dreamlike approach to music soon turns them into something far more complex and abstract. Now we really are intrigued…
If you followed our Brighton Festival guide, you’ll know we’re a fan of audio-visual displays like the Tesla Coil, which came to Brighton in May. If, like us, you’re always looking for new thrills for your eyes and ears, then make sure you head to the fort’s Romney Hut to witness Japanese sound artist Tetsuya Umeda conduct kinetic experiments with materials and temperatures. Things could get interesting and it’s going to be an incredible day of experimentation and a celebration of sounds in Sussex.
If you can’t get to Newhaven on the 22nd, then don’t panic, as this year sees Fort Process become part of a wider season called Fort Process Dispersion, bringing other events to Brighton, Newhaven, London and other places in the South East until the end of October. Each event brings a different element of the festival to light in a new location and includes a rare live and extended audiovisual performance from Phill Niblock at The Attenborough Centre on Saturday 8th September. We’d recommend adding Sunday 21st October to your diaries, too, as that’s when the Splitting the Atom end-of-season free experimental all-dayer gets going at Green Door Store.
Saturday 22nd September, from midday; standard £40, concessions £35, 13-17 year olds £20, children 12 and under free (prices for advanced tickets, £45 on the door). Other events running until the end of October.
Newhaven Fort, Fort Road, Newhaven BN9 9DS
Photo credit: Agata Urbaniak