When director and singer Fiona Jane Burgess
approached Black Kite Studio's Richard Fearon about collaborating on the Isolation Choir project, it was something that really grabbed his attention. Richard said: “When I first saw the offline and heard the song, I instantly wanted to be involved. It really captures what we are all going through right now with so many people isolated and surrounded by uncertainty. At the same time, it gives a message of hope and strength, which I find very powerful.”
‘Inside I’ll Sing’ by Shards & Isolation Choir is a beautiful song, expressing the hopes and fears faced by musicians, and is relevant to everyone in the current crisis. It is a new composition by the choir’s leader, Kieran Brunt. It was created in the first few days of the UK lockdown, when all of the group’s national and international concerts were being cancelled or postponed.
Fiona was first approached to sing on the track alongside a whole host of artists. The all-star line-up of musicians featured on the track includes: Joe Newman (Alt-J), Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev), Douglas Dare, Anna Meredith, and New York-based composer Nico Muhly. Fiona remembered footage she had shot almost exactly a year before that, which had never been used, and the idea then started forming - the footage worked astoundingly.
Fiona said: “We looked over all of this footage that I had shot the previous year, and the pace of the movement, the emptiness of the house and these dancers who are together, but also apart, separated by the vastness and the emptiness of the house. Everything about it just worked perfectly.”
As well as Black Kite, Fiona contacted others to come together to work remotely. The music - a sonic mosaic which had been pieced together by Brunt in his makeshift studio at home in London - now found its visual representation through a process involving a network of creatives, working alongside Fiona remotely Jo Lewandowska, the editor at Cut + Run, and perfecting the finished look of the piece, with Richard Fearon.
Richard said: “At Black Kite, we already have a tried and tested remote working pipeline in place, which we adapted for this particular project. Working remotely from home, sending my video output directly to Fiona's laptop, we were able to work in detail on shaping every shot. Fiona sent me some beautiful 35mm stills from the shoot that gave me a good direction for the colour tone, texture, and contrast. Each frame already had a really nice base from the lighting on set, so it was a case of building on that to draw the eye to certain areas.” He continued: “The overall tone is quite muted in places, but Fiona wanted to add a hint of warmth in the highlights which I thought was a really nice touch.”
described how moved she was by the finished piece, how this footage which had been a labour of love, could be recycled as a message of hope. “It felt like making something from the remains of something else. It shows us that we can do a lot more than we think with what we already have.” Everyone involved in the project was really pleased at how well the whole process worked, and the collaboration that happened, despite not being together in the same room. Fiona said she was left wondering: “If more collaborations that wouldn’t usually happen due to time and travel constraints might happen in the future, as we have found that, although we can’t physically connect, we can connect in other ways”.
‘Inside I’ll Sing’ is being released by Erased Tapes and all the proceeds from the recording will be donated to Help Musicians UK. Article from Little Black Book