Töne was an international festival of sonic and visual arts that explored the spaces, forms and durations that exist within and between these two overlapping fields. The festival theme – A Meeting of Sound and Light - reflected the focus on these two areas of artistic exploration. The event aimed to be both challenging and celebratory, creative and critical, engaged in the sensory and the social, with a main festival programme that spanned the Midsummer weekend of Friday 20th-Sunday 22nd June 2014.
A pre-festival programme built towards this weekend, in the two weeks running up to Midsummer, from Monday June 9th onwards. This featured a wide range of activities that were open to the community as a whole, and which were designed to engage specific groups in the event including under 18s and seniors. Töne activated and investigated sites of contemporary and historical importance along and around the Medway river at Chatham, with events at: The Historic Dockyard, Gun Wharf, Sun Pier, Amherst Fort, Medway Council’s POP gallery, and the lightship LV21.
The festival’s programme of performances, installations, broadcasts and public forums was curated by the festival’s instigators and Artistic Directors Julie Louise Bacon and Claudia Molitor. The line-up of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists reflected long-standing associations, as well as including new collaborations, including artists selected from Open Calls.
The festival took place as the Sun rose to its zenith in the Northern hemisphere, a fact echoed in the theme A Meeting of Sound and Light. 2014 also marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Töne’s broad range of new commissions invited audiences to explore and reflect on the aesthetic and political resonances of the military and maritime location of Chatham and the surrounding area, and the uniqueness of the moment in the cycle of the seasons.
The festival was enabled by major awards from the University of Kent and Arts Council England: South East. It was run with support from the Faculty of Humanities and the School of Music and Fine Art, Medway Council, and Kent Council.