Steve Reich to present Different Trains at the oldest active passenger railway station in the world, with new film from Bill Morrison
About this project
About the project:
In September 1830 the first ever train passengers travelled between two cities, passing throughEdge Hill railway station in Liverpool destined for Manchester, altering the human experience forever.
In September 2016 audiences will be invited to Edge Hill station – the oldest active passenger railway station in the world – to experience an open-air performance of Steve Reich‘s 20th century masterpiece Different Trains.
Different Trains (1988) is a Grammy award winning composition written for string quartet and tape. Utilising snippets of verbal archive, recounting memories of train journeys taken in Europe and America during WWII. It was previously described by musicologist Richard Taruskin as “one of the few adequate artistic responses to the holocaust in any medium”.
Taking place days before Reich celebrates his 80th Birthday, the piece will be performed as an open-air concert at Edge Hill station, inviting audiences to reflect upon the impact of the invention of train travel and the role it went on to play during World War II and the formation of the modern world.
For the first time in the composition’s 28-year history a film accompaniment has been permitted, in the form of a newly commissioned work from artist and filmmaker Bill Morrison. This unique performance will take place in the presence of Steve Reich himself, in collaboration withLondon Contemporary Orchestra and Sound Intermedia.
Why it’s important:
Metal is based at Liverpool’s Edge Hill station, neighboured by Toxteth, Wavertree and Kensington; areas of great character and diversity. However, like many of the UK’s post industrial centres these areas and their populations have suffered from an increasing lack of opportunity over the past 40 years.
This project aims to connect with hundreds of these local residents as audience and participants, with the intention of defining an alternative narrative for the area based on its significant heritage rather than its diminished opportunties, a heritage that is linked to the station venue and origins of the story presented by Reich’s piece.
Over 300 local residents will engage with the work prior to the performance through a number of community sessions that Metal will lead at the station.
These sessions include:
• Workshops for students from local schools exploring the heritage of Edge Hill and its significance to WWII
• Film screenings and discussions, including at least one with the local refugee population exploring parallels between Europe’s refugee crises of WWII and today
• Dinner for community advocates from local communities, to discuss the work and encourage distribution of 300 FREE tickets
Your pledge to kickstarter will directly support the delivery of these community sessions and off-set the cost of the 300 FREE tickets to the event for local residents living within Edge Hill, Kensington, Wavertree and Toxteth.
About the location:
The station’s rich history, 1830s architecture and local resident population will add new dimensions to the performance of Reich’s masterpiece, offering audiences an immersive experience with huge aesthetic and conceptual resonances.
A large outdoor section of Edge Hill railway station has fallen into disrepair; formerly theCarriage Ramp, where the first ever train passengers would arrive at the station by horse and carriage to catch their trains.
This space has been unused for past 10 years. The significance of this space within the global human story of train travel cannot be overstated.
Through this event we will revive this space as a new venue for the Different Trainsperformance and for future world quality events that tell this story to a vast audience as a means to bringing back some of the proud status and belief that the area so richly deserves. Any pledges made to this project, above our set target, will go towards these more permanent improvements to this space with a long term view to making this an essential part of the Different Trains event and Metal’s future work in this location.
Who we are:
Steve Reich is one of America’s most celebrated composers. At the forefront of the development of minimalism his 50+ year career helped shape the modern musical landscape.
“There’s just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history and Steve Reich is one of them” The Guardian
“…among the great composers of the century” The New York Times
“America’s greatest living composer” The Village VOICE
“…the most original musical thinker of our time” The New Yorker
Bill Morrison‘s films often combine rare archival material set to contemporary music. His work was recently honoured with a mid-career retrospective at MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York.
“Morrison’s world is one of the most breathtaking and haltingly disturbing cinematic realms of our time” RogerEbert.com
“Compelling and disturbing” Kenneth Anger
“A stirring, haunting modern masterpiece…” The Guardian on ‘Decasia’
The London Contemporary Orchestra:
Winner of the Ensemble category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards 2015, the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) has established itself as one of the UK’s most innovative and respected ensembles.
Formed in 2008 the LCO has collaborated with a distinguished array of composers and artists including Jonny Greenwood, Beck, Goldfrapp and Terry Riley. LCO’s performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, Sky Arts and have soundtrack output including Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’, ‘Slow West’ and ‘Macbeth’.
“like a jolt of electricity.” Financial Times
“…the effect was superb… a singular audio-visual journey into a heart of darkness.” The Times ★★★★
Risks and challenges
This wider project has a number of high profile partners and as a result it is confirmed that the performance of Different Trains will take place at Edge Hill station; featuring Steve Reich, LCO, Sound Intermedia and Bill Morrison’s new film.
The risks and challenges we face are in making this project as accessible as possible and meeting Metal’s wider objectives of utlilising the activity to define a positive narrative for the area and its local population.
If this Kickstarter campaign is successful we can ensure that general event tickets are kept to an affordable level and ensure that our free ticket distribution  to people from the local area can go ahead.
If we are unsuccessful our capacity to provide free tickets and targeted engagement activity will be jeopardised.
If we are successfully backed through Kickstarter our potential risks are greatly minimised, however this is a large and complex event and as a result we are still cautious as to what extent our improvements to the aforementioned Carriage Ramp of Edge Hill station can be utilised as permanent changes, allowing us to deliver further activity on the site post the Steve Reich Different Trains event.
A successful Kickstarter campaign would once again leave us greater capacity to achieve these more permanent changes leading to greater future activity.