Accessibility statement

Hearing the Past: St Mary’s Abbey Reconstructed

Professor Ambrose Field, Professor Thomas Krauss, Dr Jude Brereton, Dr Helena Daffern, Amelia Gully, Lewis Thresh


  • 25 September 2015

  • St Mary's Abbey, Yorkshire Museum (map)

  • FREE admission
    No booking required

  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

Dating from 1088, St Mary’s Abbey was one of the largest Benedictine establishments in the north of England. Yet since ​its dissolution in ​1540, it has declined into ruin. A cross-disciplinary team from the University of York are​ ​bringing the space back to life, ​by re-constructing the acoustics and sounds of the building. A specially commissioned piece of new music, Architexture Two, from composer Ambrose Field, will be performed in the simulated acoustic of the venue by members of the Ebor Singers. Field’s work was written taking specific account of the reverberation that St Mary’s would ​have, if it were still standing today. 

Dr Jude Brereton, Dr Helena Daffern, and Amelia Gully from the Department of Electronics led the real-time application of the reconstructed acoustic, originally modelled by Stephen Oxnard and Dr Damian Murphy. Specially commissioned graphics and lighting have been developed for the event by Professor Thomas Krauss and Lewis Thresh to mark the Year of Light celebrations.​

This event is part-supported by the HEFCE Higher Education Innovation Fund.