Durham University: Student musicians record music for Lumiere light festival

A specially created ensemble made up of some of our most talented student musicians has recorded the soundtrack to the centrepiece of this year’s Lumiere light festival.

Original composition
In Our Hearts Blind Hope by Palma Studio will illuminate the façade of Durham Cathedral with a 12-minute projection inspired by Día de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

It will feature an original composition and sound design by Richard Hammarton, the music for which has been recorded by some of our outstanding student musicians.

Special ensemble
Earlier this year Artichoke, the producers of the Lumiere light festival, approached the University to invite student musicians to be involved.

Our team at Experience Durham worked with the student presidents of our three auditioned orchestras, asking them to collaborate to create the perfect group for this unique opportunity. Auditions were held and in total 38 musicians were selected to be part of the project.

The ensemble includes musicians from the Durham University Orchestral Society, the Durham University Palatinate Orchestra and the Durham University Classical Ensemble, as well as members of the Durham University Brass Band.

Rendering of In Our Hearts Blind Hope, produced by Zsolt Balogh (Palma Studios) for Lumiere Durham 2021

Professional recording
This is the first time that a student group has been asked to record a soundtrack for an installation at Lumiere light festival.

Conducting the groups is first-year student Jude Holloway, who was selected following a competitive application process. Jude already conducts the Symphony Orchestra for the Durham University Palatinate Orchestra.

For Jude and many of the 38 musicians this was their first experience of taking part in a professional recording session and has also been a wonderful opportunity for them work with a professional composer and sound designer.

Outstanding opportunities
This is just one of a huge range of outstanding opportunities available to students at Durham. Across sport, music, drama and volunteering there are countless ways for our students to try new things and find new passions.

With over 80 music societies and 27 theatre companies, there is no shortage of ways to engage with and participate in the arts at Durham.

Meanwhile we are Britain’s Number 1 Team Sport University and co-ordinate Britain’s largest sports participation programme with over 75% of our students engaged in sport and physical activity.

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