Ditchling Museum of Art+Craft

5 Minutes with Composer Ed Hughes

Outdoor, Contemporary Music, Classical Music, Interviews

Explore the South Downs This Spring on an Audio Walking Trail

Listen to ‘richly sonorous’ (Sunday Times) new orchestral music directly inspired by landscape as you explore the South Downs National Park through the ECHOES App on the Brighton Festival Ditchling Museum Music Trail

Start at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft and walk-up Lodge Hill for stunning views (1 mile, gentle) or follow the Sussex Border Path and South Downs Way up to Ditchling Beacon and back through the fields (5 miles, strenuous). 

There are fifteen ‘Echoes’ along the Trail route, devised by producer Liz Webb and composer Ed Hughes. Each ‘Echo’ has been carefully curated with Hughes’ music to reflect the changing moods and terrain of the trail, and features images from Ditchling-based artists. 

We caught up with Ed Hughes, Professor of Composition at the University of Sussex to find out more about this new work.

Where did the idea come from to create this musical composition?

Previously I wrote a live score to a film by Cesca Eaton called Cuckmere: A Portrait (Brighton Festival 2018). During lockdown one, my agent Liz Webb turned this into a soundwalk on the Echoes App. We thought it would be a great idea to create a completely new soundwalk working with partners Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft and the South Downs National Park Authority, who helped to commission some of the music.

What do you hope people will take away from the Music Trail after they have seen and experienced it?

A sense of a journey – how a walk on the beautiful South Downs can be great for reflection and well-being and how music can match that journey. 

There are images accompanying the trail, can you tell us more about this?

The featured images watercolours, prints and photographs of Ditchling by Ditchling-based artists past and present and include museum objects: a jacket by Amy Sawyer inspired by the South Downs landscape, cartoons and drawings by Philip Hagreen and a stunning illustration by John Vernon Lord, whose work is featured in the Museum’s Taking a Line for a Walk exhibition from Thu 20 May. 

What do you love most about Brighton?

I love Brighton because it is a fun city with an incredible cultural life and fascinating history. I’m glad to be contributing something that has involved real live musicians in the making, especially during lockdown.

Supported by research in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities at the University of Sussex and Echoes geolocated soundwalks

Find out more about the Brighton Festival Ditchling Museum Music Trail and how you can download the free ECHOES App 

Three green vines lay on an ivory-coloured background

Brighton Festival Ditchling Museum Music Trail

1 - 31 May 2021