Holy Brook Promenades
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PHOTOGRAPHER: MARK O‘NEILL
My series on the Holy Brook reveals a well known, yet seldom seen side of Reading’s town centre. A mysterious underworld passing under the feet of many who visit Reading, the clean chalk stream of the Holy Brook once provided the town’s main source of clean water until industrialisation enveloped the river into a culvert. Its waters forced to flow concealed through a series of long, dark tunnels, the Holy Brook is now quietly forgotten by the thriving town it helped to create. Using long exposures and torch light to illuminate the mysterious underground waterway, I try to breathe new life into the ageing structure in an attempt to raise awareness of Reading’s hidden history.
COMPOSER: ROGER MAY
The Holy Brook is a series of atmospheric photographs taken of the waterway that runs through and under Reading town centre, and so provided a perfect opportunity to write a set of short interludes with a common theme that could be used in between the main movements of the overall ‘APO Pictures’ composition. While there is some common thematic material, each movement is very different in style, depicting some characteristic of the photograph, whether that is the metallic structures, vibrant lights and bustle of the Oracle shopping centre, or soft, warm lighting on the rippling water. To this end, several movements have a distinctive orchestration: the second uses hard brassy and percussive sounds, while the fourth pits the string section against the woodwind to represent the two differentiated aspects of the lighting.