Foghorn Requiem Performance

Professor Lise Autogena’s Foghorn Requiem Performance

Featured on BBC Radio 4


Professor Lise Autogena’s performance Foghorn Requiem was featured on BBC Radio 4. Life, Death and The Foghorn is presented by Jennifer Lucy Allan and produced by Jack Howson for the BBC

“What happened to the foghorn, those beloved giants of our coastal landscape and soundscape? There used to be more than 100 foghorns proudly stationed around the British Isles. Now, due to maritime GPS and automation, there are fewer than 20, with the figure falling steadily. The sound of the foghorn has always induced a melancholic feeling, and perhaps the absence of it only increases that sensation”. Inspired by the Foghorn Requiem, a 2013 art performance by Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway, music journalist and broadcaster Jennifer Lucy Allan’s radio programme is an eulogy to the foghorn, their social and cultural history and the memories and experiences that are lost once the foghorn engines are switched off for good.


Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway’s 2013 performance ‘Foghorn Requiem” was a requiem to the disappearance of the foghorns from the UK’s coastal landscape. Attended by thousands of audiences, this major outdoor performance was composed by Orlando Gough and performed by three brass bands, Souter Lighthouse Foghorn and fifty ships on the North Sea. Conducted and controlled from afar, the ships sounded their horns to a score that took into account the landscape and the physical distance of the sound. The composition, performed live to audiences on the coastal cliffs was played across a space of several miles of Souter lighthouse and the Sea. Custom-built technology allowed ships horns several miles off shore to perform together in time with the musicians on shore, a gathering of three of the finest historical brass bands of the northeast, the Felling, Westoe and NASUWT. More than fifty ships,  sixty-five musicians and thousands of audiences gathered at Souter Lighthouse to perform the Foghorn Requiem together with the Souter Lighthouse foghorn itself.


Link to the Radio Programme:  BBC Radio 4 programme Life, Death and The Foghorn


Link to Foghorn Requiem web site:


Photograph @Kristian Buus 2016