Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson performs live for the first time in London his moving score to The Miners’ Hymns, an unashamedly lyrical portrait of Britain’s industrial past by American artist film maker Bill Morrison.
Using rarely seen archive film footage spanning 100 years, it depicts the ill-fated mining communities, the increasing mechanisation of the pits and the extraordinary annual Durham Miners’ Gala. The soundtrack draws on the brass music heritage of the northeast of England, a tradition stretching back almost 200 years and still very much alive today.
On this evening that coincides with the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike, Jóhann Jóhannsson will join conductor Gudni Franzson on stage. The score will performed by the Iskra String Quartet, and a specially-assembled 18-piece brass ensemble comprising orchestral players alongside musicians from the Durham-based NASUWT Riverside Band.
After the show, join Morrison and Jóhannsson for a post performance discussion hosted by Nick Bradshaw, Web Editor at Sight & Sound.
Jóhann Jóhannsson will be signing CDs after the discussion.
‘As eloquent a working-class portrait as any Ken Loach film... With Jóhannsson’s gorgeous score providing mournful counterpoint to the visual world Morrison has both revived and created anew, The Miners’ Hymns leaves the audience with the ineffable sense of being between times, landscapes and emotions. True to the sacramental suggestion of the film’s title, the feeling is a lot like prayer’Washington Post
Commissioned by BRASS: Durham International Festival 2010
Supported by Durham County Council, Arts Council England, British Film Institute, One North East, Northern Film + Media and the UK Film Council’s Digital Film Archive Fund supported by the National Lottery.
Produced by the Barbican and Forma.
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