Head-bangers needed for Beethoven's ninth


One of the country's emerging artists is seeking 50 "head-bangers" to play a central part in her new work to be performed later this week.

Carlow-born performance artist Amanda Coogan wants volunteers to be members of a chorus that will head-bang to part of the second movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony.

Ms Coogan, who was short-listed for the AIB award for emerging artists earlier this year, has created a group performance piece involving the composer's 1824 work.

It is her second work based on the Beethoven symphony. He was deaf when he wrote it and she grew up with signing as her first language, as both of her parents were deaf.

"Ideally I would like the head-banging choir to be half male, half female. I have about 20 volunteers, but so far there are more girls than boys. The girls are more up to it. Fifty-fifty would be wonderful, but I'm not fussy.

"There won't be enough time to get the head-banging really going. They will be head-banging for about five minutes.

"It is quite strenuous. I know from doing it myself that if you head-bang for more than five minutes, you start to really feel it," she said.

She wants volunteers to contact her at 086 4091669 or at amandacoogan at hotmail.com. She said the work was about Beethoven's passion and impulses - one leading conductor had said the composer seemed to urge people to run over the cliff with him.

"The repetitive head movement will be almost like a native American dance, a shamanistic dance."

Her work will be part of US Live, an evening of live art, performance, video, sounds and projections involving over 50 other artists being held at the Guinness Storehouse, James' Street, Dublin, on Friday. The event is being organised by CRAIC, in association with Cork Artists Collective, the Sculptors' Society of Ireland and the Cork Film Centre.