It all began with a poem In the Time of Pandemic by American writer Kitty O’Meara which took internet world by storm.
Eastbourne composer Clive Whitburn read the poem and was so moved by it he contacted Kitty in Wisconsin and composed a choral piece for it – to her delighted approval “And the people stayed home” is the opening line from the new choral work and video which was the result of a collaboration between composer Clive and artists Stephanie Grainger and Ray Burnside, who are all Eastbourne based.
Stephanie explains: “Having composed it, Clive enlisted over 30 singers to record their parts on smart phones or computers, in their own homes and then email them to him. Clive then painstakingly mixed together these 30-odd tracks to form a virtual choir.”
Meanwhile Stephanie and Ray worked to produce the highly-original video which accompanies the piece. It has already had over 1,650 views.
“The video was attracting so much traffic on Vimeo that Ray made a special website for it. This enthusiastic public response made the group wonder how much other work was being produced under lockdown.
“Using social media, they invited other artists to contribute to the website. Its escalated with more and more offerings rolling in daily. Since going live just two weeks ago, there have been artistic contributions including poetry, drawing, painting, short films, music, creative writing, photography and 3D work.
“The team have been overwhelmed by the quality and variety of the work. Although the project began in Eastbourne, it is attracting entries and from other parts of the country and from the United States. There are some expressive pieces of artwork, several beautifully poignant videos on how isolation has affected people.
“If you need cheering up, there are some hilariously funny music videos that give a tongue-in-cheek responses to the situation. Dance lovers will enjoy the work of contemporary choreographers who have made films to express their frustration at being unable to stretch their legs in open spaces. There are photographs of the days of lockdown that will be a wonderful record for posterity.”
The work can be seen at www.blog.timeofpandemic.co.uk“If you are a creative and want to submit some work to the site, please use the same address where there are instruction on how to upload your work. The only rule for submission is that the piece must have been made between March 23 this year and the end of lockdown.”
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