Announcing a New Collection in RÊVE: Romantic Sounds

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

Romantic Sounds is an experiment in ways of engaging online publics, both immediately with the virtual exhibition of RÊVE (Romantic Europe: The Virtual Exhibition), and, in the longer term, with the collections of the museums gathered together within the AHRC-funded DREAMing Romantic Europe network. It was inspired by the sense under the lockdown of 2020 that Romantic object and place were revealing themselves to be as much virtual as material. Perhaps the affect that the material heritage of Romanticism still exerts could be voiced in that most Romantically virtual of the arts, music. So DREAM, with additional funding from The Open University, commissioned 7 early-career composers and 14 early-career performers to conceive and put together this suite under the challenging conditions of COVID-19 restrictions. Each composer was given free rein to explore the exhibition, shortlisting a couple of exhibits to work with; from that list 9 exhibits were selected to showcase a range of materialities. Like RÊVE itself, therefore, this suite is in conception an experimental conversation between individually-authored components, and until it was put together in its entirety it was not clear what each piece might have to say to the others, how they might end up …read more