For two centuries, the coal industry formed the backbone of many towns and cities across England. Entire communities sprang into existence as fervent mining activity fuelled the industrial revolution. Integrating art, narrative, photography, film and an original musical soundscape performed live, Sō Percussion capture the environment, personal stories, and aspirations of a community fighting against industrial decline in From Out a Darker Sea. From Out a Darker Sea is not about coal, but like everything in areas rooted in industrial, there are always traces of it presence.
Commissioned by East Durham Creates as part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme, this immersive audio-visual performance is inspired by the context and history of East Durham, an area which has struggled to reinvent itself after the crushing loss of its mining industry. Sō Percussion collaborated with film and photography collective Amber Films on the creation of a new work, Song for Billy, which was developed from Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen’s photographic series The Coal Coast and features as part of the performance. From Out a Darker Sea premiered at St John’s Church, Seaham in August 2016 and tours former coal mining areas, from Derby to Deal, this year.