As part of her quest for ways to shine a different light on her music, Natalie Clien is about to embark on a project called Resonances, which will frame the solo Clein and her cello in a selection of grand and historic country houses - Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire, Coughton Court in Warwickshire, Ickworth House in Suffolk, and the Wallace Collection in London.
Audiences will find themselves swirled away on a 360-degree sensory voyage, since, apart from Clein's own performance, each house will be equipped with its own bespoke kit of audio enhancements for the occasion.
Soundtrack composer Simon Fisher Turner has joined with composer and sound designer Matthew Fairclough to devise a range of sound textures, partly musical but also using a variety of effects and recorded voices to suggest some of the rich history of the chosen buildings. Coughton Court, for instance, is home to the Throckmorton family, who were involved in the Gunpowder Plot, while Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, lived at Nunnington Hall.
"The idea is to give the audience a total experience, let's say, rather than just turning up to an exhibition or a play in a theatre," says Clein. "I'm quite experimental in my approach to live performance, and you can't replace a live event with computers or YouTube or anything like that. You get something unique to that moment, and that's absolutely what this project is about."
Having taken a tour of their historic surroundings and been softened up by subliminal audio treatments, the audience will arrive at the main performance space, where Clein will perform, after a scene-setting introduction written by Jeanette Winterson. Clein still wasn't exactly clear how Winterson's text would be delivered, but it will be incorporated into the overall sonic picture.