Pleasure Garden

Genevieve Lacey concept, co-composer
Jan Bang co-composer
Jim Atkins audio design
Bill Strode audio assistant
Robin Fox interactive system design
Pete Brundle digital design
Angus Kemp, Sera Davies, Mika Nishimura filmmakers
Lisa Thomson cinematographer
Stephen Goddard graphic design
Martel Ollerenshaw international producer

Pleasure Garden is a listening garden.

Visitors of all ages and backgrounds are enveloped by gentle sounds as they wander through the natural architecture of a garden, or sit a while and listen. Pleasure Garden fuses music, field recordings and technology to create a contemplative environmental experience.

Pleasure Garden encourages attentiveness. Its meditative music attunes people to details of life cycles that often go unnoticed. Resonances emanate from plants. Birdsong and insect hum feel unusually present as the garden and its visitors are wreathed in subtle sound. Pleasure Garden intensifies an appreciation of gardens as places of discovery and delight.

Musically, it’s delicate, meticulously balanced to each place it visits, so that the sounds of the local habitat play a central role. The composition is spacious, blurring the lines between its own melodies and the surrounding ambiance. Some layers of Pleasure Garden’s composition are only triggered by movement, and float quietly across the space as visitors explore.

The work is suitable for outdoor gardens or verdant places, as well as significant indoor gardens.

Inspired by the story and music of Jacob van Eyck – the 17th-century Dutch musician, composer, improviser and nobleman – Pleasure Garden combines excerpts from his work, set within new music composed by Genevieve Lacey (Australia) and Jan Bang (Norway).

Musically, the work is subtle, in order to create room for visitors to dream, to play and to think. It combines some of van Eyck’s melodies, field recordings from the places in which it was made (Australia, Holland and Norway), and contemporary electro-acoustic sound art.  It layers and morphs versions of Genevieve and her many recorders.

The music of Pleasure Garden is represented on two recordings released by Genevieve Lacey on Australian label, ABC Classics:  Pleasure Garden & Line Drawings: The music of Jacob van Eyck

Visit the Pleasure Garden website here.

Read the Broadsheet review here. 

Lambley Garden, photo Genevieve Lacey

Since 2015, there have been eight presentations of Pleasure Garden in three countries, where it has been experienced by over 30,000 people:

Künstlerhaus Boswil
Flurstrasse 21, 5623 Boswil, Switzerland
Presented by: Künstlerhaus Boswil (Switzerland)
7 July-4 August 2019

Walled Garden, Harewood House
Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG”
Presented by: Harewood House Trust (England)
26 June-30 September 2019

Salters Yard Garden
4 London Wall, Barbican, London EC2Y 5DE
Presented by: Culture Mile & Barbican (England)
24 May -14 June 2019 for Play The Mile

Charterhouse Garden, The Charterhouse
Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6AN
Presented by: Barbican as part of Sound Unbound Festival (England)
18-19 May 2019 for Barbican Sound Unbound Festival

Norfolk and Norwich Festival
Felbrigg Hall, Felbrigg, Norwich NR11 8PR
Presented by: Norfolk & Norwich Festival and in association with the National Trust (England)
11-27 May 2019

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141
Presented by: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Australia)
18 March-7 April 2019

Sydney Festival World Premiere Season
Vaucluse House Gardens, 69A Wentworth Rd, Vaucluse NSW 2030
Presented by: Sydney Living Museums & Sydney Festival (Australia)
7-26 January 2016

Lambley Gardens
Presented by: Lambley Gardens (Australia)
10 –  11 October 2015