Watch the trailer for ‘The Miners’ Hymns’
You can now take a sneak preview of the exciting collaboration between Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and highly-regarded US experimental film maker Bill Morrison. The Miners' Hymns will receive its world premiere at the Tribeca film festival later this month, but a 3-minute taster is now available above and via The Guardian website . The project celebrates the social, cultural, and political aspects of the extinct mining industry in Durham, North East England, as well as the strong regional tradition of colliery brass bands. In Jóhann's words the film is a 'kind of requiem for a disappearing industry, but also a celebration of the culture, life and struggle of coal miners'.
Composed almost entirely of black and white archive footage, the film is structured around a series of activities, including touching on the terrible hardship of pit work, the role of Trade Unions in organising and fighting for workers’ rights, and the pitched battles with police during the 1984 strike – as Thatcher’s government sounded the death knell for the industry. Accompanied by Jóhannsson's score, the results are powerfully compelling. The project collaboration between the two artists was inspired by a realization of common grounds. Jóhann says on Morrison's previous works: 'I liked his aesthetic. His work reminded me of the kind of footage I use for my concerts, these abstract, blurry super-8 textures. His films deal with decay and memory, which are themes I work with a lot also.'
Jóhann Jóhannsson's soundtrack to The Miners' Hymns will be released by FatCat on May 23rd on vinyl, CD and digital formats.
A DVD of ‘The Miners' Hymns’ film will be released on June 20th 2011 by the BFI