The small patch of land bordering Doncaster Street, Sheffield (UK), has witnessed a remarkable period of transformation. Once home to an 18th-century foundry, it was located in the industrial heart of the city, nestling alongside some 250 cementation furnaces employed in the production of blister steel. At that time, the imposing cementation furnace (which still towers over the plot) was a characteristic feature of the industrial landscape, and an emblem of Sheffield’s manufacturing prowess. Although the furnace continued to produce steel throughout the Second World War, operations ceased in 1951. It now stands alone in the Sheffield skyline, a symbol of industrial decline. For a time, the land lay abandoned and forgotten, becoming little more than a post-industrial wasteland at the edge of the city centre. In recent years, this decline has been overturned; the overgrown, idle patch of land has been transformed into a community space, which invites artistic activities and projects, serving to reconnect the land with the city of Sheffield. In this context, the newly named Furnace Park seems appropriate; it connects the land of the past with that of the present and, hopefully, future.
This piece, Foundry Flux, attempts to do something similar; although flux refers to a flowing or purifying agent used in the production of steel, the term is employed here to capture the flowing, changing state of the land itself. Traffic, which circles the patch of land, was recorded and used to generate the entire work. Processing of these recordings serves to imagine the blistering heat of the furnace, before transforming the space into a hub of creative practice.
Foundry Flux was realized in 2015 at The University of Sheffield Sound Studios (USSS) (UK) and premiered on June 24, 2015 during the EMS 15 — The Art of Electroacoustic Music conference in Sheffield. The piece was commissioned by Sheaf Prospect: Soundscaping Furnace Park. Thanks to Amanda Crawley Jackson, who created the project and directs the park, and Chris Bevan, who made the recordings of traffic as part of the Sheaf Prospect project. Foundry Flux was awarded 2nd prize at the 11th Destellos Electroacoustic Composition Competition (Mar del Plata, Argentina, 2018), and was awarded a Mention in the Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Portugal, 2016).
- June 24, 2015, Adam Stanović, diffusion • EMS 15 — The Art of Electroacoustic Music: Concert 2, Drama Studio — The University of Sheffield, Sheffield (England, UK)
- Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
- Composer(s): Adam Stanović
- Year of composition: 2015
- Commission: Sheaf Prospect
- Publisher(s): Ymx média
- ISRC: CAD501810034