Lockdown musical event to bring people together online to experience the dawn

Britons are being encouraged to join a musical event to celebrate the dawn across the UK from their own homes, balconies and gardens.

The National Trust has teamed up with an artists’ group called non zero one and composer James Bulley to create an original live music score inspired by the break of day.

On Saturday May 16 the piece will be performed by five musicians at their own homes around the country, and streamed online to accompany dawn across the UK.

The idea for the “dawns” event had been developed before lockdown, with the intention that musicians would play live for members of the public at several National Trust and other sites across the UK as the sun rose, but it has had to move online.

The National Trust said the event, in collaboration with Heritage Open Days, is part of its year-long campaign to help people connect with nature in its 125th anniversary year.

A narrator will welcome people as the first morning light hits John O’Groats in Scotland at 3.43am, before the five musicians each begin to play their part as dawn reaches their location.

The music will build from a solo to a quintet as daylight arrives across the country, ending with the last musician in Cornwall at 4.59am.

Music has been composed that is inspired by daybreak (John Hunter)
Music has been composed that is inspired by daybreak (John Hunter)

John Orna-Ornstein, director of culture and engagement at the National Trust, said: “In these uncertain times, as so many of us are restricted in our travel, and with social distancing or self-isolation, dawns offers a moment of celebration, a time for us to feel we are together even when we are apart.

“Dawn is a magical time to experience the natural world. It’s an opportunity to notice nature awakening, to see and listen to what’s around us, as night passes into day.

“We don’t know how long we will be continuing social distancing as a nation, but whatever the situation may be on 16 May, this will be a special morning, where people across the country, whether they always notice the dawn, or never have, can feel connected to one another and be united by music as they experience sunrise together.”

Cat Harrison, lead artist for dawns, said: “Though we may all be in our separate homes or gardens around the country, we can be together, experiencing different dawns.”

People who want to take part in the event can sign up at www.dawns.live