Beethoven on the Beach

Photo of photographer taking photos under the arches of Sunny Sands Beach, Folkestone

Sacconi Quartet | artist residency 2021/22

Sacconi Quartet in Collaboration with artist Kate Beaugié, Beethoven on the Beach poster
"Beethoven on the Beach" flyer


As part of the Sacconi Residency Weekend, Kate was invited to collaborate for one of the events.

Kate interpreted this as an opportunity to re-contextualise the listening experience of classical music; using the acoustic nature of the medium of the quartet to its advantage by relocating the Sacconi Quartet out of the concert space and placing them directly into the forces of nature.

The event happened on Sunday 24th October 2021 10.45am – 11.30am @ Sunny Sands, Folkestone, Kent.

‘Music for a Later Time’, a 13-minute documentary about this project, made by Nathan Eaton-Baudains aka Mistereb

Artist’s statement

As we fall into Beethoven’s last quartet, Op.131, the intermittent melancholy seems relevant to the zeitgeist of sadness at the state of our sickening and battered earth.

We look out to sea, and like Matthew Arnold in his poem Dover Beach, feel the loss of grace, the loss of hope for humanity and we sense the falling stars which seem inundated by too many humans, incessantly pushing and shoving for more.

To place this exquisite and sublime piece of music, played by the very highest quality players, out onto the Folkestone beach, using the extraordinary acoustics of the Sunny Sands arches to propel it, seems like the obvious thing to do, as humanity reaches a brink.

‘Beethoven on the Beach’ is a call to the gods of the oceans and to the Sun as we roll around it again and again, to take pity on us, such successful humans with our eloquence, our brilliance and our awful selfishness and greed.

At the end, as in the beginning, there is light, of the Sun; it arcs and we see time, we sense the turning earth and we feel the tide rise and fall.

We are part of this great universe. All is as it’s meant to be.

Kate Beaugié, September 2021
A black and white film strip showing a series of portraits of Kate
Kate Beaugié with the chalk that drew the line at "Beethoven on the Beach" Sunday 24th October 2021.
Silver gelatin photograph by © Mick Williamson 2021.

Beethoven on The Beach programme
"Beethoven on the Beach" programme.

This project was funded by Sounds Folkestone. More information can be seen on their website.