Rising 5th (Re-staging of a test for an unrealised memorial to Benjamin Britten) is a video work and sound installation that re-stages the story of the architect H. T. ‘Jim’ Cadbury-Brown’s unrealised memorial to Benjamin Britten. The memorial was to be a huge hulk of wood standing on Aldeburgh beach with two holes in the top designed to sound two signature notes from Britten’s opera, Peter Grimes, when the wind blew fiercely. Like some great wind instrument playing to the residents of Aldeburgh, it would remind them of the darkness that lies beyond the horizon, out at sea.
During the design process for this memorial Cadbury-Brown needed to determine what size holes would be drilled in the wood to create the right notes. To do this he strapped two organ pipes to a car and drove it up and down the Aldeburgh–Thorpeness Road.
The film is a re-staging of this experiment. The memorial was never constructed but the story surrounding it is intriguing, if absurd. Britten used sound ‘as found’ in his compositions alongside traditional orchestration so perhaps would have seen this as a fitting tribute.
The sound installation re-imagined the sounding of the memorial in a storm, and was made for the South Lookout tower on Aldeburgh beach to accompany the video piece. Rising 5th (Re-staging of a test for an unrealised memorial to Benjamin Britten) was shown as part of SNAP 2013. To celebrate the Benjamin Britten Centenary, artists from previous SNAP exhibitions were invited to contribute works related to or inspired by Britten.
SNAP 2013 ran from 8–30 June 2013 at Snape Maltings, Suffolk.
Participating artists included Glenn Brown, May Cornet, Benedict Drew, Cerith Wyn Evans, Mark Fuller, Ryan Gander, Maggi Hambling, Scott King, Emily Richardson, Abigail Lane, Simon Liddiment, Sarah Lucas, Julian Simmons, Cally Spooner and Juergen Teller.