Here at Sound and Music and particularly on the British Music Collection, we feel it is important to capture this moment and create a space to reflect on COVID-19 in a creative way. After a nation-wide call for applications, which saw over 150 responses, we're excited to share the work of the succesful applicants to our 'Interpreting Isolation' grants.
The grant-winners are: Guoda Diržytė , Douglas MacGregor with George Ramsay, Tina Hitchens with Sam Francis, The Keeling Curve, Amahla and Sans Soucis, and Koichi Samuels.
Tall Trees - Leave No One Behind
"Tall Trees is the name of Koichi Samuels' new project bringing together audiovisual art, electronic music and a diversity of voices affirming life. 'Leave No One Behind' is an audiovisual work, the first under this project, commissioned by Sound and Music, and made in collaboration with video artist Dervla Hillan. The music is an electronic composition, with the voices, perspectives and ideas of young musicians from Junior Academy of Music, Belfast, Northern Ireland woven in. Instrumental recordings of the pupils can also be heard embedded in the piece.
The title is taken from the motto of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, which is a global agenda to reduce inequalities and achieve sustainable environmental, economic and social development around the world by 2030. The piece takes its inspiration from this motto as well as containing a recited passage from an article titled 'The Pandemic is a Portal' by the author Arundhati Roy and ends with a quotation from peacebuilders Dr. Daisaku Ikeda and Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel. These ideas and words were used to frame this piece of participatory music and to engage with young people.
The music, the voices, and the visuals combine in an explorative piece on what can be achieved beyond isolation and the pandemic, from the perspectives of young people, and with hope for the future."
Tina Hitchens and Sam Francis - High Tide
"Drawing upon water as a source of inspiration and as a metaphor for the Covid 19 situation, Tina Hitchens based in Bristol and Sam Francis in Weston Super Mare met virtually over two weeks to connect their separate locations through different water sources - the WSM coast and the River Frome in Eastville, Bristol that both conjoin with the Severn Estuary. At the changing times of high tide they met virtually to observe, listen, look, meditate on and respond to the connecting pull of the water, the environment and surroundings to connect creatively and personally as a lifeline during these uncertain and disconnected times. This piece is a montage of material gathered during these outings and a reminder that flow and continuity will always be present and can close the space between us as the space between us all widens."
The Keeling Curve - Mersey Beat
"The piece uses sounds sent to us in April 2020 from around the UK, from people's 'daily exercise' during the Covid-19 lockdown. We also use recordings from our own walks along the River Mersey. These sounds are interwoven with pulsing synthesizers and a violin solo reminiscent of the English pastoral tradition." - The Keeling Curve
Photo of the River Mersey by Lawrence Dinh. Artwork from collage by Katherine Jack
Amahla & Sans Soucis - Mind the Gap
"Mind The Gap - harvesting connection beyond social distancing. Sans Soucis and Amahla meet in the middle to create a soft lullaby for who needs to be comforted by music and empathy, in a time of separation. Joined by visual artist Sara Pozin, they tell us a story of growth amid an unsettling scenario that sees London deprived of its brightest colours: people"
Find out more about all the winners here and stay tuned for another winners announcement next Tuesday!