Review: Earthcycle – Orchestra of the Swan, Turner Sims, Southampton

Review: Earthcycle – Orchestra of the Swan, Turner Sims, Southampton

By Charlotte Ndupuechi.

Attending Turner Sims is always a pleasure. It is a real gem in Southampton situated within the grounds of the university, showcasing all sorts of musical delights. It’s easy to get to with great public transport, cycling links and parking. There are always several staff on-site to help you pick up your tickets, get a drink at the bar and assist you to your seat which creates a warm and friendly atmosphere. 

Last night (30/06/2024) marked the end of the Turner Sims summer festival with a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with a modern twist. Lights and film clips aided the performance alongside a new version by jazz composer David Gordon and intermingled with traditional songs by folk singer Jackie Oates made for an interesting flood on the senses. 

Jazz, folk, climate change and Vivaldi all in one performance- well what a show! The music was just amazing. The sound quality from the orchestra was so crisp and clear you couldn’t help but be caught up and tap along. The opening movement of Vivaldi’s Spring was so uplifting and totally engaging. 

Subtle imagery reflecting the seasons flashed on the screen behind the orchestra. Spring flowers blowing in the wind, raspberries ripening in the summer sun, and then in contrast, summer bushfires and ice caps crashing into the sea. A view of the Earth from space was projected for most of the performance, perhaps a reminder of the beauty and wonder of our planet, creating an awe-inspiring atmosphere. These visuals were not as ‘in your face’ as I was expecting and left me pondering more about the climate change message. But then, I suppose it did its job, as it got me thinking more about the seasons and what our human impact is.

I think this was the beauty of the show: the amazing, uplifting music juxtaposed with the message of climate change. It celebrated the wonders of the seasons while reflecting on humanity’s impact upon them. This blend of sensory elements and thought-provoking content made for a great experience.

“Earthcycle” by Orchestra of the Swan was a brilliant fusion of classical music and contemporary themes. The performance was a celebration of Vivaldi’s timeless work, enhanced by modern interpretations and a powerful environmental message. 

Tickets were priced from just £12.50 for students and young people so it is definitely a venue to keep an eye on for future events. 

  • In Common is not for profit. We rely on donations from readers to keep the site running. Could you help to support us for as little as 25p a week? Please help us to carry on offering independent grass roots media. Visit: