Wednesday, 20 June 2012

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra cellist to perform in film/live music project


Things looked difficult for Past Lives, the film and live music collaboration that has been touring the Midlands.

The project features jazz ambient/soundscape pioneers Cipher (with Belper based Dave Sturt on bass) with guest musicians Deirdre Bencsik and Clare Bhabra from Derby’s Sinfonia ViVA. They have set little seen amateur 8 and 16mm film footage, compiled by artist Anthony Hatton from the Media Archive for Central England, to their new music score. This has created a thought-provoking and engaging visual and live musical experience that has engaged audiences around central England.

Disaster struck last week when Cellist Deirdre Bencsik broke her arm in a fall at home and was forced to withdraw from the project.

With upcoming appearances at Belper, Coventry, West Bromwich, Derby, Matlock and Stamford (Lincolnshire) in the next few weeks a replacement was urgently sought.

To the great relief of all, Catherine Ardagh-Walter of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has stepped in to fill the vacancy. The plucky musician has risen to the challenge of learning the complex parts for Past Lives quickly. That challenge is made all the more difficult as Anthony Hatton subtly changes the footage in the film for each performance to include a section showing images of the immediate area.

Catherine began playing cello at the age of 7 and joined has played with the world famous CBSO since 1995.

Combining cutting edge technology with nostalgia, Past Lives features revealing unseen amateur footage of Midlands family life from the 1930s to the 1970s set to an atmospheric soundtrack performed live by ambient soundscape pioneers Cipher. The result is an engaging, thought provoking and moving reminder of a recent past that brings these remarkable images to life with its evocative soundscore.

Past Lives takes place at The Public on Friday 29 June. Prior to the live performance at the arts centre, there will be a 'Music for Film' workshop, providing people with an opportunity to develop skills in composing and performing music with film. The workshop looks at 'capturing a mood' and exploring themes, using improvisation and technology to discover the hidden potential of musical instruments.

Linda Saunders, Managing Director of The Public said,
“Cipher have built up a tremendous reputation for producing mesmerising dynamic soundtracks for silent films. Past Lives is not only a unique audio-visual experience, it helps paint a fascinating picture of Midlands life with rarely seen archived footage.”
Tickets for the unique performance are £10 (£8 conc.) taking place 8.15pm – 9.30pm, with the workshop £7 (£5 conc.) taking place 6pm – 7.30pm. The workshop and performance combined ticket is £12 (£8 conc.). Tickets are available by calling 0121 533 7161.
For more information about events at The Public visit www.thepublic.com or call 0121 533 7161.

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