Gleo: Michael Lightborne

Michael Lightborne presents Water Damage, an audio-visual trip through the Blackwater valley, exploring the deep entanglement of Irish rivers with agriculture and politics, places and people, health and life, myth and memory.

Expanding on his album Slí na Fírinne (2022), Water Damage uses field recordings of the North Cork countryside, processed and recomposed using sampling and synthesis, twisting and warping into techno rhythms and walls of drone accordion.

Water Damage incorporates visual elements that combine archival images from agricultural journals of the mid-twentieth century with the waters and sticky material of the Blackwater valley itself. Phosphate, nitrogen, slurry, petrol, ink, leaves, seeds, and dirt drift in and out of the stream of images, while the wilfully stupid technique of ‘image composting’ is employed to examine how maps of these lands are made and unmade.

Join us on Thursday, 2 November at 9pm for the premiere performance of Water Damage. Tickets are €12 and available here.

About Michael

Michael Lightborne is an artist, researcher, and teacher based in Birmingham and Cork. He works with sound, moving images, and text, and he has exhibited in galleries and festivals in the UK, Ireland, and internationally. His sound work has been featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Late Junction‘, NTS, ddr, Resonance FM, WFMU, Raidió na Gaeltachta, Lyric FM, Internet Public Radio, Skylab Radio, and Radio Punctum, amongst others.

His most recent album Slí na Fírinne was released by The Department of Energy in 2022. Previous albums include RING ROAD RING and Sounds of the Projection Box on Gruenrekorder. His moving image and sound work has been shown at Cork Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Flatpack Film Festival Birmingham, Art Night Venezia, Bucharest Film Festival, Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival, Bogotá Experimental Film Festival, Eastside Projects Birmingham, Vivid Projects Birmingham, DivFuse London, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Herbert Gallery Coventry, UCL Urban Laboratory, Cinecity Melbourne, Coventry Biennial, Sluice Biennial, Arquiteturas Film Festival Lisbon, and many more.

He is Associate Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick (as Michael Pigott), where he teaches and writes about film and video art and the relationship between sound, environment, and cinema. He is the author of Joseph Cornell Versus Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2013) and the forthcoming Wild Sound: Cinema and the Sonic Environment (Bloomsbury, 2024) as well as articles on the image of the sleeping body, the sonic environment of the projection box, experimental documentary practices, and the uses of projection outside of the cinema.

About Gleo:

Gleo is a series of concerts of ambient and experimental music taking place at Ormston House from 2-5 November 2023.

Gleo* features a mix of Irish musicians, artists, composers, and broadcasters presenting a spectrum of musical practices and experiments in sound. Set between autumn and winter, as evenings darken, air cools, and life moves indoors, the concert series creates space to gather and listen together amid the changing seasons.

* A word originating from the west coast of Ireland, Gleo refers to the sound of the sea when it is loud and ominous, its tumult and texture akin to man-made or mechanical noise, a sound that foretells bad weather.

Gleo is curated by Caimin Walsh of Ormston House and Jack Brolly. It is supported by the Night-Time Economy After Hours at the Museum scheme and Limerick City and County Council. Full details can be found here.

Logos for the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media; Limerick City and County Council; and Limerick Arts Office.


Water Damage: 2 November. Doors 9pm. Tickets to all events can be found here.
Images courtesy of the artist.
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