Cuckmere: a portrait

Hughes, Ed (2018) Cuckmere: a portrait. [Composition]

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An original 30 minute score for chamber orchestra and electronics composed by Ed Hughes between 2016 and 2018 as part of a collaboration with film-maker Cesca Eaton, called Cuckmere: A Portrait. The collaboration resulted in a portrait in silent film and music of the river Cuckmere over four seasons. The experience is of a journey through time and space: the visual sequences track the river from source to sea and from ground to aerial shots as the seasons change, just as the music's harmonies and textures modulate with the landscape's colours. There are moments of defamiliarisation where the familiar landscape is radically transformed by snow or an impossibly high birds' eye view: the music embraces these sudden shifts by mapping them through coloristic changes, and orchestral and electronic effects.

Cuckmere Haven is a natural environment of outstanding beauty where coast meets sea on the South Coast of England. Our project depicts a year in the life of Cuckmere in 2016/17 at a time in which change is expected due to changes in policy about sea defences. As artists, silent film-maker and composer, we wanted to use moving images and music to record two main aspects simultaenously through a kind of poetic film: a year in Cuckmere across changing seasons (time); the river's journey from source to sea (space). The intersection of silent film and music produces effects and unique properties which are unavailable in conventional sound film and documentary. These include the potential to reveal landscape through a 'choreography' that interlaces picture and music, to heighten sensitivity to shapes and phenomena of the natural world, and that music in combination with carefully curated images can make the beats and patterns of passing seasons and the passage of time more visible.

Item Type: Composition
Additional Information: A recording is available:
Keywords: Composition, film music
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Research in Creative and Performing Arts
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > M Music > M0005 Instrumental music > M1000 Orchestra
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ed Hughes
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 08:23
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 08:23
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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Cuckmere: From source to seaG2346Arts Council EnglandUnset