Marking the dawn of a new day, together

Marking the dawn of a new day, together

DAWNS – the first event of the 2020 Heritage Open Days programme – brings people together to enjoy a live early morning musical experience

Thanks to extra support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Heritage Open Days (HODs) is collaborating with the National Trust and non zero one to bring people together to mark daybreak with a unique musical experience. DAWNS is the first activity in the HODs 2020 calendar and the first national programme outside the annual free festival of history and culture which takes place in September.

On Saturday 16 May an original live music score, inspired by the break of day and composed by James Bulley in collaboration with five musicians, will be performed and streamed online to accompany the start of the day across the UK.

A narrator will begin as the first morning light hits John O’Groats in Scotland at 3.43am. Five musicians, based at their own homes will each begin to play their part as dawn reaches them. The score will build from a solo to a quintet as daylight sweeps across the country, ending with the last musician in Cornwall at 4:59am.

DAWNS is a mass-participation artwork by non zero one; this is the second time the artist collective has worked with HODs. In 2018 as part of the HODs Unsung Stories series, nonzero one created Put Her Forward, producing an artwork which told the stories of living women who had positively impacted the people around them.

Throughout the year HODs focusses on free events that not only connect people, but which encourage them to pause and notice what is around them. DAWNS will use streaming technology to allow listeners to tune in to the broadcast wherever they are and experience a connection to others around the country.

Annie Reilly, Head of Producing, Heritage Open Days says: ‘Heritage Open Days is all about extraordinary experiences that bring people together to connect to nature, heritage, history and each other. At a time of social separation, extra support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has enabled us to develop an event which creates a moment of togetherness.

‘True to the spirit of HODs, DAWNS is something absolutely everyone can participate in. In stopping to appreciate the wonder of dawn and consider our own relationship with time and nature, we create a shared experience which connects us all.’

Fran Miller, artist, non zero one says ‘non zero one are delighted to be working with Heritage Open Days again on a brand new mass participation artwork: DAWNS.

‘In 2018 we created Put Her Forward, an artwork that recognised living women who positively impacted the people around them. We turned 25 incredible women into 3D statues, unveiling them across England during the Heritage Open Days weekends. The project was a celebration of women from a wide range of communities and backgrounds.

‘DAWNS is also a celebration but this time of togetherness, difference, nature and light, themes which feel even more pertinent as we find ourselves in a world of social distancing and lockdown. Although we will be looking at the sky from our individual homes, gardens or balconies, we can still experience dawn together as the light sweeps across the country on 16 May 2020.’

The public can sign up to take part at On 16 May they will be invited to find their favourite view of the sky from their lockdown location and listen to the music as light arrives across the UK.