Z Ward is a site-specific soundscape installation commissioned by the Architects Institute of Australia for the Soundstream event (March 9 2016) presented in association with the National Trust: Hidden Sounds. The event featured performances of works by Erik Griswold, Steve Reich, Thierry de Mey, and Alvin Curran. It also featured my radiophonic production The Glass Cage. Works from the Hidden Sounds event were presented by Stephen Adams on New Waves, ABC Classic FM 2016.
Z Ward for Criminal Mental Defectives and Refractory Patients was constructed in 1885. Z Ward was closed in 1973.
“Only a minority of patients who were accommodated in Z Ward were Governor’s pleasure patients: those acquitted of their crimes on the grounds of their insanity. The majority were people charged and convicted of a minor offence, but exhibiting sufficient signs of psychiatric instability that it was thought more beneficial for them to be placed in an asylum rather than a gaol to serve their sentence. Another small group of patients were those who were considered a danger to themselves or to others and were placed in there for the protection of the Asylum’s other inmates.”