Uploaded on Jun 5, 2010
Presented as an audio-visual installation, Sounds from Beneath is a project by the artist Mikhail Karikis centred around a vocal sound work in which he invited a coal miners' choir (Snowdown Colliery Male Voice Choir) to recall and sing the subterranean sounds of a working mine. Then he invited the visual artist Uriel Orlow to collaborate with him on the creation of a video in which the colliery choir sing on top a disused Kentish mine where the men used to work. Sounds from Beneath brings a desolate coalmine back to life through song. A colliery once populated with workers, machines and the sounds of their activities transforms into an amphitheatre haunted by resonating sounds of explosions in the ground, machines cutting the coal-face, shovels scratching the earth and the distant melody of the Miner's Lament, all sung by the choir grouping in formations reminiscent of picket lines.
Sounds from Beneath continues Mikhail Karikis's exploration of notions of the stranger and his engagement with the voice as a sculptural material, investigating diverse vocal acts and the marginalisation of voices. In addition to the work being a meditation on singing as an act of resistance and community, it ruminates upon the relationship between the human voice and the machine, reflects on the under-representation of old voices, while celebrating communal music-making.
a project by Mikhail Karikis
video by Uriel Orlow & Mikhail Karikis
featuring Snowdown Choir
produced by Olivier Pierre
composition Mikhail Karikis
camera & editing Mikhail Karikis & Uriel Orlow
sound recording by Mikhail Karikis and Bobby Krlic
recorded at Aylesham Colliery Welfare Club
video recording at Tilmanstone Colliery
contains fragment of folk song The Miner's Lament arranged by Mikhail Karikis