As I walked up Lombard Street towards the London Centre for Spirituality today after our Moot Eleven O’clock and Baptism service, I could hear the sounds of angels singing. Thinking that I either needed medication or that I was missing something, I realised that the music was coming from around Change Alley, the original site in medieval times of what was called ‘The Kingdom of Change Alley’ of money lenders that eventually led to the Stock Market and Royal Exchange in the City of London.
Anyway, to my great pleasure, the music is part of a street-artsscape project called ‘Surround Me’ which aims to bring artistic life back into the City which is eerily quiet on Sundays. The silence of the City has inspired artist Susan Philipsz’s first commission in the capital. Her unaccompanied voice resonates through the empty streets around the Bank of England and medieval alleyways and along the banks of the River Thames. ‘Surround Me’ embraces the vocal traditions of the City of London connecting themes of love and loss with those of fluidity, circulation and immersion, the flood of tears, to convey a poignant sense of absence and loss in the contemporary City of London. I really liked this street art event, I think it connects with what I think many of us are feeling at the moment, a sense of lament and loss.