Song for Billy

We’ve wanted to make a film with Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen’s photographs of The Coal Coast since the completed exhibition was premiered at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art back in 2003. We’ve also been talking about doing a live score film project for a while. When Forma / East Durham Creates suggested a possible Coal Coast collaboration with the New York group So Percussion we were more than happy to meet up with them. Sitting round a table in a cafe in Seaham both Amber and So felt the collaboration could work…

Sirkka set to digitising her negs, expanding the range of the imagery. We experimented with timelapse video and the rhythms it generated. We exchanged material with So Percussion, who were writing pieces back in New York. In the middle of this we were drawn to the storytelling of Easington ex-miner Freddie Welsh. The live scored version was premiered in August at St John’s Church, Seaham, as part of Forma / East Durham Creates’ From Out A Darker Sea.

We’re currently working on the standalone film – watch this space!

The making of Song for Billy has been supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Forma / East Durham Creates and Heritage Lottery Fund.

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