Composition and sound design by Richard Hammarton
Location: Durham Cathedral façade
Taking us on a journey from reflection to celebration; from death to rebirth.
Starting with a flickering candle and ending in euphoric technicolour, In Our Hearts Blind Hope takes us on a journey from reflection to celebration; from death to rebirth.
Inspired by Día de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday), which involves gathering each November to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, shape-shifting video-mapped projections transform the façade of Durham Cathedral into an immersive reflection on the present moment. With musical contributions sourced from local residents and Durham University orchestra, the piece culminates in a glimmering moment of collective hope.
Día de los Muertos coincides with the migration of millions of vibrant Monarch butterflies to Mexico each November, thought to represent the returning souls of the dead, drawn back to the world of the living by beacons of light. In Our Hearts Blind Hope draws on this symbolism, beginning with footage of people from the local community in Durham lighting candles in the Cathedral.
An original soundtrack by composer and sound designer Richard Hammarton acts as the heartbeat of the piece, building from quiet contemplation to an electrifying crescendo of the natural sounds of insects buzzing and wings fluttering alongside community recordings and orchestral composition.
The piece runs on a 12-minute loop.
The Cathedral is situated at the top of a steep hill.
About Palma Studio
Palma Studio is a design company founded by acclaimed animation director and video designer Zsolt Balogh. We create unforgettable audio-visual installations for heritage sites, exhibitions and live events.
The score includes an orchestral composition recorded by a 39-piece orchestra featuring the most experienced orchestral players from across Durham University under the direction of conductor Jude Holloway.
The players were selected by Lewis Wilkinson, Assistant Manager of Student Music and Music Development Coordinator Megan Hathaway, with the help of the student presidents of the orchestras Annabelle Cooke, Matthew Madeley and Rosie Stewart.
J Sidaway, an ex-chorister from Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation trained by Professor Simon Lee, Director of Instrumental Music, also features in the recording.
We want to move people with this piece, express the griefs and the hopes of the last year, and send a shot of much-needed energy and joy into the night.
Kathryn Johnson, Palma Studio