Musicity: The Biscuit Factory

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Musicity is an amazing architecture inspired sound art project. They commission artists to record site specific pieces & then geocache them so you can listen to them in situ.

I was asked to write a piece inspired by the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey. It was the site of the Peak Freans factory & Bermondsey was known as Biscuit Town because of it. You could tell the day of the week by the smell coming out of the factory! The factory ran throughout the 20th century & when it closed it was repurposed to light industrial, offices, music studios, new media centres, food manufacture & distribution centres. You name it.

It would be interesting to see what past generations of workers would make of the current use for the factory space. Forever change.

I found some archive video recordings of the factory floor & filtered the audio to make it sound like a heart beat & built a musical piece about this industrial palimpsest. I then wrote a poem & a chorus which I recorded over the piece.

Faded films & grainy VHS
of a forgotten time almost within reach
transposed online for the world to see
which doesn’t necessarily unless it searches for it

Intangible moments we walk through every day
from one place to the next
transforming from one state into another
Not unlike biscuits travelling along a production line

Everything is change
Nothing stays the same
Old into the new

The train runs over the old tracks on the long viaduct
Above the factory where the machines are gone
but the buildings are not silent
I can’t help wondering what the people

who worked the lines generations ago would think
if they were transported to this place
right now.
We could cast a spell to find out

Everything is change
Nothing stays the same
Old into the new

I’m off to perform the piece tonight at The Underdog at 6pm. The address is in the link. It’s free & fully subscribed but if you come to the door & ask for Cunning Folk I’ll get you in


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