Jump directly to main content

The Crack Magazine


From Out a Darker Sea

An evening of live music, visual art and film created for and inspired by East Durham. From Out a Darker Sea is a one-off live performance by Sō Percussion, a four-piece ensemble based in Brooklyn, New York.

A group of New York-based musicians have composed a new performance inspired by the landscape and communities of East Durham.

From Out a Darker Sea, created by Sō Percussion, will be performed at a special one-off live event at St John’s Church in Seaham on Thursday 18 August from 7 to 9pm.

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.”  

Sō Percussion is a four-piece ensemble - Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting - based in Brooklyn, New York, who 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. They have developed relationships with people from the region which have resulted in this very special performance inspired by the past, present and future of the area and its coastal landscape.
The evening will combine live music, visual art and film and will include personal stories and memories contributed by local residents including students from East Durham College who have worked with Sō Percussion to create video portraits of their friends and family members.
When people arrive at St John’s Church they will be greeted by an immersive audio-visual installation shaped by the people of East Durham and made to fit within the surroundings of the church.
This 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.   The evening will finish with a relaxed social event including drinks and nibbles, a chance to meet the creators and find out more about the project.
Debbi Lander from Forma Arts, the London-based creative production agency which commissioned and produced the event, said: “Sō Percussion are a world class act who have welcomed this opportunity to innovate and develop their practice within the context of the history and future of East Durham, considering the global and personal connections that exist and exploring ideas around time, place and change with local people and through their first time collaboration with Amber Films.
Adam Sliwinski from Sō Percussion 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,”   People are encouraged to participate in creating the artwork by submitting their own memories, stories and aspirations to feature as part of the audio-visual installation by visiting www.eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/sopercussion before Friday 12 August.
Sō Percussion have been described as an “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker) and they combine original music, theatrical production values and visual art to produce unique and powerful performances.
From Out a Darker Sea is the latest in a series of performances of new, live music projects presented in East Durham, commissioned by East Durham Creates, which have included Ed Carter’s FL10: False Lights, and Stolen Voices, a musical composition made using overheard conversations in Seaham.

From Out a Darker Sea, Thursday 18 August, St. John’s Church, Blandford Place, Seaham, 7-9pm, £7 (£3 East Durham residents/concs.) includes a drink and nibbles following the performance. 0191 569 3511 or eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/sopercussion