Musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra have teamed up with filmmakers and composers to create two new films inspired by London’s experience of lockdown. The resulting films have now been released on Culture Mile’s YouTube channel, featuring performances by violinist Maxine Kwok and flautist Gareth Davies.
Recorded during the second lockdown in the City of London, the films are centred around premieres of new music by composers Jasmin Kent Rodgman and Darren Bloom.
Antonia Luxem’s film focuses on violinist Maxine Kwok and Rising, the new work by Darren Bloom. Filmed on the 34th floor of 100 Bishopsgate, Kwok is depicted in front of the view of the City skyline at twilight, accompanied by dancer Marie Astrid Mence.
‘This commission effectively stirred me from what felt like an enforced hibernation and gave me the opportunity to rise and speak to the frustrations and fears that artists – and many others – have been feeling,’ says composer Darren Bloom. ‘The location, atop a skyscraper overlooking all of London, made me feel like I was reaching out to them.’
In the second film, Lexi Kiddo directs LSO flautist Gareth Davies, who performs The Spell & The Promise, a new work by composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman. The film was shot in London Wall Place near the Barbican, in a vacant industrial space with heavy reverberation. Davies is joined by dancers Salomé Pressac and Faye Stoeser, whose choreography reacts to the music.
‘The space and architecture of London Wall Place had a big impact on the music,’ says composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman. ‘Being emptier than usual, the space had a beautiful resonance to it, and we wanted to take advantage of that. The exposed, angular lines against the softness of water, light and Roman wall felt very powerful to me. I wanted the music to allow audiences to take stock, reflect and celebrate the lifeblood of the area.’