Ping pong ding dong at music festival in Bangor.

Artist Christine Mills and Bangor Music Festival director Guto Puw with an art installation called Receive and Return based on a table tennis game in a unit at the Deiniol Shopping Centre, Bangor.

Shoppers will be able to make a ding dong playing ping pong at a top music festival – thanks to an art installation which features a table tennis table.

The interactive installation at the Deiniol Shopping Centre in Bangor has been created by artists Christine Mills and Carlos Pinatti who’ve gone into bat for the environment.

As part of the project organised by Bangor Music Festival, schoolchildren from Ysgol Talysarn, in the Nantlle Valley, will also be composing a piece of music to highlight environmental issues.

The work of art, called Receive and Return, will be on show at the shopping centre for a month leading up to the festival which starts on March 4.

The centrepiece is a full-size table tennis table with map of the world printed on it.

The project will culminate with a concert at the centre on Friday, March 6, which will premiere the music composed by the pupils of Ysgol Talysarn.

Dr Guto Pryderi Puw, the festival’s artistic director, said: “In addition the event will include the premieres of works by Katherine Betterbridge, Ellie Davies, Sioned Eleri Roberts, who won the composer’s medal at the national eisteddfod, Dan Song, a Chinese composer who is studying at Bangor, and Hedd Thomas.

“The concert is part of the festival’s Fragile Earth educational project which will see Katherine Betteridge, who is a Phd student studying composition and Eleanor Lighton, a Phd student studying performance, going out to Ysgol Talysarn for a series of composition and performance workshops.

“The aim is for children to compose music inspired by Receive and Return, and their own art work, based on the earth’s fragile environment such as the melting ice caps, deforestation and so forth.”

Christine Mills, from Llanerfyl, in Montgomeryshire, collaborated with Cardiff-based artist Carlos Pinatti to produce the installation.

She explained: “Receive and Return is about cross-over and getting our message over the net. We are trying to show that what we put into the environment we get back.

“The table itself, seen as a green platform on where we perform, is printed with digital imagery of the world. The map represents the world with no country, borders or continents, which conveys the idea that we are all in this together.

“And moulds of individual tiles made from clay and plaster cast put together suggest we need to work collaboratively to make the single, bigger picture.

“We are absolutely thrilled that student composers and schoolchildren are composing music which will be inspired by the installation and I’m really looking forward to hearing the results.

“In the weeks leading up to the festival Receive and Return can be viewed through the main window while the sound recording will be played through speakers and heard outside the unit.

“Then during the week of the festival volunteers will staff the unit so members of the public will be able to get a closer look and play a game of Receive and Return on the table.”

The life and work of music legend Frank Zappa will also be celebrated at the festival, where fans can to talk to his widow, Gail, via a live link from California.

The iconic American bandleader, songwriter, composer and film director will be remembered in a series of events.

The festival, now in its 15th year, will feature premieres of works by composers Pwyll ap Siôn and Owain Llwyd.

The theme this year is ‘Crossover and Multimedia’ with each concert having a connected educational project that will involve a number of local schools as well as the city’s university students.

The Apollo Saxophone Quartet will open the festival with a concert of cross over music influenced by jazz and minimalism together with the quartet’s own scores to short silent films in Reichel Hall, Ffriddoedd Road, Bangor.

But it’s the inclusion of its educational projects that sets Bangor Music Festival apart according to Dr Puw.

He said: “The activities will involve primary school pupils of Ysgol y Graig in Llangefni and Ysgol Talysarn in Dyffryn Nantlle, also the secondary school pupils of Ysgol David Hughes in Menai Bridge, Ysgol Tryfan in Bangor and Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen, Bethesda.

“Saturday, March 7, will see a performance at Capel Penrallt, Bangor by the North Wales Camerata, which consists of student performers from various universities.”

The festival will close with the awarding of the William Mathias Composition Prize for a piece for flute, clarinet, piano and electronics during the Rees/Roche/Pestova evening concert on Sunday, March 8.

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