Past Lives

Capturing moving images is now commonplace with mobile phones and pocket cameras but before the digital age it wasn’t so easy. Small format movie cameras were the liberating technology of the mid 20th century giving ordinary people the chance to capture everyday events on their 8mm and 16mm cameras.

Cipher (Theo Travis and Dave Sturt)  collaborated with visual artist Anthony Hatton to produce a thought-provoking and engaging visual and live musical experience using previously unseen archive footage from the Media Archive for Central England, including local images of the Midlands from the 1930s to the 1970s and with music composed by Cipher.

The new live soundtrack features Travis on sax, flute and keys and Sturt on fretless and upright bass and sound design and combines acoustic and electric instruments with digital looping technology and computer sound processing. The musicians in Cipher have previously collaborated with Gong, Robert Fripp, Bill Nelson and David Sylvian. The score also features acclaimed string players – Deirdre Benscik (cello) and Clare Bhabra (violin) both from the Midlands based orchestra Sinfonia Viva. This will be the first time Cipher have augmented their sound with strings.

The Past Lives project toured the Midlands in 2012, and depending on funding will be touring the Midlands in 2014 & 15 as a participatory and community local history, music and film project. There will be a series of fillm & music workshops in each locality to enable participants to digitise and edit antique footage to create new films and learn about editing film and writing and performing music with film. Look out for project open days and reminiscence cafes across the Midlands in 2014 & 2015.

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