Cathedral Oceans live
John Foxx live at Holy Trinity Church, Leeds, Friday 3rd November 2006
Audiovisual performance of Cathedral Oceans III – part of the Leeds International Film Festival
A smartly suited John Foxx welcomed the audience in the intimate and ornate surroundings of Leeds’ Holy Trinity church. He explained the background to his work, before taking up position behind his keyboards, in front of a large projection screen.
Originally designed to be performed in churches or outdoors in gardens, the music of Cathedral Oceans, with it’s organic textures and ethereal vocals sounded perfectly in place, in the small, but delicate surroundings of the Holy Trinity Church. Although Foxx had stated in his introduction, that the music was not religious, there was no denying the strong feeling of spiritualism that ran through my emotions, as John performed the music live and the echoes of his gregorian-style chanting travelled around the room.
The distinctive imagery – created by John over many years – was projected on to the big screen, softly blending and evolving in time with the music. Statuesque faces, crumbling stonework, trees, leaves, foliage, snow, ice and water all metamorphosed together, shifting in colour and tone as the music progressed. I found myself drawn in to the imagery, and once I had started watching, it was hard to take my eyes off it.
The show ended to a long and rapturous applause. Foxx was clearly pleased with his performance, and deservedly so. After the show he stayed behind, chatting with fans. It was a pleasure to meet John again and much to my surprise, he remembered me from our previous encounter back in 2003, in Sheffield.
The music of Cathedral Oceans III provided light and warmth on a cold and dark November evening. To finally experience the music of Cathedral Oceans in its intended context was a moving yet fascinating experience. Very individual, and quite unlike any other performance I have ever witnessed.
Review and photographs by Alex Storer