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New release showcases an eclectic trove of music, poetry and spoken word made between 1978 and 1996
Dread Beat and Blood, 1979.



LONDON.- From the streets of Brixton and Manchester to leafy suburbs, junk yards, punk venues and community centres, Great Noises That Fill the Air celebrates and showcases an eclectic trove of music, poetry and spoken word performance in a curated collection of film and video works made between 1978 and 1996, and rarely seen since.

In the later decades of the 20th century, independent filmmakers pushed at the creative boundaries of documentary work thanks to Arts Council funding, generating an eruption of diverse, dynamic, cutting edge films that still stimulate the intellect and inflame the senses. By turns poetic and impressionistic, personal and experimental, these bold films highlight the potential of documentary to challenge, celebrate, excite, fight and inspire.

Great Noises That Fill the Air will be launched with an event at BFI Southbank on Monday 16 August at 18:20 in NFT1 when the films Dread Beat and Blood (Franco Rosso, 1979) and Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt (Nick May, 1982, 61 mins) will be screened. Tickets are on sale now here.

DISC 1

• Dread Beat and Blood (Franco Rosso, 1979, 44 mins): Linton Kwesi Johnson uses his poetry as a weapon in the pursuit of justice against racism and violence

• Steve Reich: A New Musical Language (Margaret Williams, 1987, 56 mins): the pioneer of minimalism and process music at work in New York

• Elizabeth Maconchy (Margaret Williams, 1984, 48 mins): the groundbreaking British composer’s impassioned argument as a female artist in a male-dominated field

• Strong Culture (Smita Malde, 1995, 6 mins): an early incarnation of Asian Dub Foundation find themselves booked to play a traditional county fair

• Bristol Vibes (Ruppert Gabriel, 1996, 12 mins): 24 hours in the lives of three groups of Bristol-based African-Caribbean musicians, from reggae-driven dub to soul and jungle-jazz crossover




• Clocks of the Midnight Hours (Simon Reynell, 1988, 27 mins): Max Eastley, kinetic sound sculptor, journeys deep into the aural underworld of dreaming

• Great Noises That Fill the Air (Simon Reynell, 1988, 26 mins): Bow Gamelan Ensemble distil experimentation into visual performance and percussive sound-assault

DISC 2

• Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt (Nick May, 1982, 61 mins): John Cooper Clarke presents a drily humorous, despairing hymn to the urban devastation and human casualties of the Thatcher era
… / 2

• Celebrashan (Pauline Bailey, 1995, 6 mins): African oral tradition and its impact on the development of music

• Cornelius Cardew 1936 -1981 (Philippe Regniez, 1986, 53 mins): the ‘graphic score’ composer’s controversial contribution to avant garde music and political songwriting

• Steel ’n’ Skin (Steve Shaw, 1979, 34 mins): African and West Indian sounds and culture come together to be explored in 1970s Merseyside

• Chutney in Yuh Soca (Karen Martinez, 1996, 21 mins): a serving of Trinidadian chutney, the dance music rooted in the culture of 19th-century Indian indentured workers

• Music in Progress: Mike Westbrook – Jazz Composer (Charles Mapleston, 1978, 43 mins): the cult Brit-Jazz legend revisits classical forms, exploring new directions in sound and performance, on stage and on the streets

• *** First pressing only*** Illustrated booklet with new essays and notes on each film along with credits












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