Pleasure Garden

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 natural environment, 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 the natural world as a place 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, forests, woods 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, and Line Drawings.

"A mystical and intensely personal experience."
- Patrick Boyle, Broadsheet
© Genevieve Lacey
© Elizabeth O'Donnell
© Elizabeth O'Donnell
© Elizabeth O'Donnell
© Angus Kemp
© Tommi Karjalainen
© Tommi Karjalainen
Genevieve Lacey — concept, co-composer
Jan Bang — co-composer
Jim Atkins — audio design
Bill Strode — installation sound
Paul Lim / Additive — production manager
Robin Fox — interactive system design
Pete Brundle —web design
Angus Kemp, Tommi Karjalainen, Onni Vakkuri, Sera Davies, Mika Nishimura — filmmakers
Lisa Thomson — cinematographer
Stephen Goddard — graphic design
Martel Ollerenshaw / Arts & Parts — international producer