Rich Mix has been selected to develop a musical premiere for a ground-breaking digital platform called The Space.
The project, called The London Requiem, will feature specially created audio and video material, which will unfold over a ten-week period, building to the choral music premiere to be performed in Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, in late September.
Competition for a slot on The Space has been fierce. 750 arts organisations put in bids to show work on the prestigious new digital platform, and just 53 were selected. The Space has been set up as a collaboration between the BBC and Arts Council England. It will run from May to October and aims to showcase some of the excellent work on offer during this summer’s Cultural Olympiad. Audiences will be able to view performances and related material on smart phones, pads, PCs and interactive TV.
The London Requiem is written by composer and film-maker Benjamin Till, whose previous work includes A1 The Musical for Channel Four and A Symphony for Yorkshire for the BBC. His latest piece was composed while sitting in some of London’s Victorian cemeteries, and the traditional Latin text of the requiem is augmented by inscriptions taken directly from memorial inscriptions found there. The work reflects London’s multi-cultural character and encompasses both a celebration of the city teeming with lives and its darker, lonely and even violent elements.
Rich Mix will work with Till and a team from the East London-based independent production company, Elbow, to develop these themes with audio and visual material. Elbow has a strong track record producing films for the heritage sector around the world and their aim is to tantalise the audience with digital snippets, which awaken an appetite for the eventual premiere. Much of the material created for The Space will also be screened in Rich Mix, where there is scope to expand audience interactivity, in the form of debates and artistic responses to the project and its themes.
Jane Earl, Chief Executive at Rich Mix says, “ We are enormously proud that we are able to support the development and showcasing of such exciting work. It’s a privilege to be able to work with an artist of the renown of Benjamin Till, and to be able to use his music to help our local communities explore the themes his work evokes. It’s part of our growing reputation for interesting and innovative work and we hope to learn more about how best to harness digital media from this unique collaboration between ACE and the BBC.
Composer Benjamin Till says, “I enjoy working with video and music in a form I call ‘documentary musical’. The Space allows us to expand that still further, to elaborate on a host of themes
contained within The London Requiem, and provide the audience with a unique insight into its musical genesis”.
Team leader for Elbow, Penny Wrout, says, “The Space offers a fantastic opportunity to play with digital media and create a fresh slant on the arts, which is an exciting departure for Elbow. We expect to look at subjects as far apart as the natural world which thrives in the city’s graveyards and how a big-city society comes to terms with the undercurrent of violence and the threat of murder ”.
Beth O’Connor, Rich Mix, email@example.com, 020 7613 7496 or 07 508 741 276.
Penny Wrout, Elbow Productions, 07736 481193.
NOTES TO EDITOR
Benjamin Till: An award-winning composer and film-maker with a substantial track record combining music and documentary. Benjamin has written the work around which this project is based and will be the musical supervisor and chief artistic collaborator. www.benjamintill.com
Elbow Productions: An independent production company specialising in audio/visual installations and dramatic reconstructions and events for the museum and heritage sector. www.elbowproductions.com