Fort Process is an expansive multi-disciplinary music and arts festival held in the evocative spaces of Newhaven Fort in East Sussex.
Performances and installations take place deep in resonant tunnels and exposed ramparts overlooking the English Channel.
Having been to the first one 2 years ago this felt bigger with more international acts, the old fort is an imposing building with many deep tunnels and gun outposts – Built in 1860, it was a military facility during WW2. The many nooks and tunnels provide unusual acoustics and lighting making a unique backdrop to the acts and installations.
We mustered our friends to the sound of Skatgobs and went to watch Ichi a Japanese performer, he plays unusual instruments whilst walking around the room on stilts! Next up was ‘Laboratoro’, Ed Briggs and the performer and writer Xelís de Toro. It started with chairs and chains being thrown around with abandon leading us along up the fort, experimenting with sound, texts and movement.
A brief sit down to a talk by David Bramwell on ‘Ghost villages and Abandoned settlements’, which went in to the crazy Principality of Sealand, drowned churches and memories of lost villages real and imagined. The we went back to the magazine tunnel where we heard Sarah Angliss and Laura Cannell play with the acoustics using recorders recreating a echo fantasy.
Time then for a delve into the tunnel with 71 steps and very steep steps too! to see Kemper Norton, who mixes modern tech with folk tales of Lyonesse and rough music to chase away wrong doers. This is when I lost everybody due to the steep climb and only caught up after a quick peek at Mariska de Groot and a set by Pierre Bastien, who uses trumpet, cogs and tapes to make loops into hypnotic beats.
By this time I as feeling a little worn out and we headed home just as the Newhaven/Dieppe ferry came in lights blazing.. sleepy time zzz
This only a snapshot of what went on as we spent time looking at the Oram machine, hanging out at the excellent Bartlebys bar and randomly moving about the fort to see kinetic sculptures and music. Plenty to see and do all day, the only let down was no food after 5pm, just when you get hungry.
David Bramwell book – The Haunted Moustache
Main top fort photo by Agata Urbaniak
More great photos by Agata here www.flickr.com
and https://vimeo.com/ some video selections by Agata