Listen to the majestic honk of the foghorn, one more time...

Fifty ships will be gathering on the North Sea to perform an ambitious musical score to mark the phasing-out of the foghorn from the UK’s coastal landscape.

The Foghorn Requiem, on Saturday 22 June, will be performed by three brass bands, ships at sea and the Souter Lighthouse Foghorn.

Conducted and controlled from afar, ships will sound their horns to a score that will take into account landscape and the physical distance of sound.

The composition, performed live to audiences on the coastal cliffs, will be played across a space of several miles around Souter lighthouse.

Foghorns have been used since the 19th century to warn shipping of

danger – from 1855 an Admiralty committee recommended that all ships at

sea should have a fog horn or steam whistle for use in foggy conditions.

The ancient devices have recently been superseded by GPS and other

technologies, and Souter Lighthouse, near South Shields on Tyneside, has one of the few remaining working horns in the UK.

Artists Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway have collaborated with

composer Orlando Gough to create the event, which is expected to attract a large crowd to listen

to the majestic honk of the foghorn, one more time.

New technology

will allow more than 50 ships horns several miles off shore to play together in time

with 75 musicians on shore, a gathering of three of the finest historical

brass bands of the northeast, the Felling Band, the Westoe Band and the

NASUWT Riverside Band. 

The Souter Lighthouse

foghorn will also sound.

CALL FOR BOATS TO TAKE PART

Vessels of all types and sizes are being called on to set sail for South

Tyneside to take part in the unique project, which is a key part of the Festival of

the North East.

Participants do not need to have a loud ship horn as the

organisers will supply specialist equipment for the day.

Ideally,

organisers would like boats to be anchored off the coast at South

Shields by 21 June.

Alternatively, vessels are welcome to take part in a sail-by on the big day, providing the organisers have been informed.

All ships crews

will be invited for a land-based celebration after the event.

Project originator Lise Autogena said: ‘We’re really excited to have so many sectors of the maritime

community taking part and it would be great to hear from even more.

‘Whether you’re the skipper of a large commercial vessel, a small

pleasure craft or a spectacular tall ship we’d love you to come along and you

can be sure of a great welcome.’

To take part call 07738

953116, email rhollinshead@gritandpearl.co.uk,

or visit www.foghornrequiem.org

(Pictures show Souter Lighthouse and a practice event at Souter with some of the brass band members, plus some of the participating vessels)