Stories from seaside communities inspire band’s latest work

So Percussion will perform at Seaham's St John's Church.

So Percussion will perform at Seaham's St John's Church.

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The sounds of New York will fill a church as musicians premier a performance inspired by the landscape and communities of East Durham.

From Out a Darker Sea, created by Sō Percussion, will debut at a special one-off live event at St John’s Church in Seaham on Thursday, August 18.

Chemical Beach in Seaham, as captured by Claire Willians.

Chemical Beach in Seaham, as captured by Claire Willians.

Nikki Locke, head of East Durham Creates, which commissioned the work, said: “It will be an art installation, live music and social event all combined into one evening which I hope people will remember for a long time.

“This really will be a rare chance to see these world-class performers in Seaham, presenting work that includes personal stories from the people here in East Durham.”

Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting are based in Brooklyn and have gained international recognition for their original compositions, percussion performances and education projects.

The group have visited locations in East Durham during several trips to the area since 2015, including East Durham College, Dene Community School, Dawdon Community Centre, Peterlee and Horden Youth and Community Centres, East Durham Artists Network in Seaham and the Caterpillar site in Peterlee.

Listening to these real stories and spending time in this striking landscape has shaped our own artistic journey.

Adam Sliwinski

The links they have forged have with the people they have met have helped create the piece, inspired by the past, present and future of the area and its coastal landscape.

The evening will feature stories and memories contributed by residents including students from the college, who have worked with the musicans to create video portraits of their friends and family members.

When people arrive at the church they will be greeted by an immersive audio-visual installation made to fit within the surroundings of the church.

It will be followed by a 45 minute performance by Sō Percussion, featuring a new live score collaboration with Amber Films, Song for Billy, which has grown out of Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen’s The Coal Coast photographs.

So Percussion will bring their show to East Durham.

So Percussion will bring their show to East Durham.

The evening will finish with drinks and nibbles, a chance to meet the creators and find out more about the project.

Adam said: “We’ve fallen in love with East Durham and have been welcomed so warmly by the local people.
“Listening to these real stories and spending time in this striking landscape has shaped our own artistic journey.”

The event has been commissioned by Forma Arts

Ahead of the show, which will run from 7pm to 9pm, people are encouraged to participate in creating the artwork by submitting their own memories, stories and aspirations to feature as part of the installation by visiting www.eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/sopercussion before Friday, August 12.

Tickets for From Out a Darker Sea cost £7, or £3 East Durham residents and concessions, and are available from www.eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/sopercussion or by calling (0191) 569 3511.