Samhain 1997

The event that officially launched HyperJAM on October 31st 1997.

Samhain (pronounced so-w-an) is an ancient pre-Celtic Irish festival which marks the transition from the 4th to the 1st quarter of the year, which coincides with the modern calendar’s Halloween festival. The quarter years correspond to each of the four provinces of Ireland and Quarter Day Festivals’ were celebrated at the intersection of the four provinces. It was believed that during the festival one is in neither one time-space or another.

Upon learning of this tradition through Eamon Hession of the Digital Arts company 5th Province, Derek teamed up with Eamon to produce an event that put the remote live collaboration format into a cultural context by creating a series of performances on the night of October 31st 1997 that sited the work in a space in between both locations that would also explore the potential for perceptually locating the audience in that space. The performers included Afro Celt Sound System, Talvin Singh and Project 23 featuring Cleveland Watkiss and Marque Gilmore.

Samhain was supported by Guiness (now Diageo), Arts Council England, British Telecom, Sony and Dolby Audio and featured extensively in the press.

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