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Wild Song at Dawn (2007)

by  Chris Watson


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Wild Song at Dawn is a sound piece originally created in May 2007, a collaboration between Alder Hey Children's Hospital, FACT and Chris Watson, and funded by The Wellcome Trust.

Chris worked with Alder Hey patients visiting the mental health unit to record a dawn chorus on Springfield Park, which is where the new hospital now stands. Chris was motivated to make this piece by his visit to the old Victorian hospital that was the former Alder Hey (now on the edge of demolition). He was struck by how the hospital was in such close proximity to the park, yet patients couldn’t see or hear it. The piece, called Wild Song at Dawn, was played in the main corridor of the former hospital until September 2015. It was a much loved installation and visitors would use the piece as a means to orientate themselves around the main corridor.

When the hospital moved into its new and current location in October 2015, the piece moved with it and is now displayed just outside the main atrium. All visitors arriving by car hear the piece, as it is located by the lifts and stairwell of the car park, adjacent to the atrium. The piece creates a memorable connection to the old hospital, while also referencing Springfield Park, in which Alder Hey Children's Hospital is now located.

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