This site presents John Hall's recent solo and collaborative projects including video, soundworks, performances and other visual art work in Cumbria and across the north.
The work has involved traditional musicians, health groups, schools, DJs, broadcasters, actors, historians, and national and regional archives in creative examinations of locality.
John's work continues to provide overlapping spaces for individual and collaborative practice around community and locality through new partnerships with artists, schools, and community groups. His work as artist and Project Manager on "Soft Drive" and "Ritual Exchange" respectively explored the mediators of communal memory and celebrated vernacular creativity and ceremony.
John has pursued this interest in 2022 independently and collaboratively with Into The Music. Commissioned by the Arts Council's Barrow Full project in Barrow in Furness, and resulting in 6 30 min podcasts which were also broadcast on Resonance FM.
"Still Waters" is a a collaborative audio/video study of the memory of land, water and people, in Askam In Furness with Artspace Cumbria.
Johns audio montage "Soft Drive" was included in the 2022 Radiophrenia festival, and is on the Audio page.
His current EP "3 Dulcimer Tunes" and "I'll Be There" a book on home made and personalised record sleeves appeared in 2022.
John's 2020 film 'Horngarth' on the craft and logistics of the Whitby Penny Hedge Service featured in the Whitby and Furness Tradition folk festivals, and has been hosted by the Folklore Society. Other work on the Horngarth, including music and video, text and audio montage are on this site.
From a Pin To A Piano was a 2023 partnership project with Full Of Noises, Artfly and Barrow In Furness Dock Museum on the life and times of Duke Street, and the evocative power of objects, odours and sound.
John's short video, originally silent but here with a musical soundtrack, looked at the Barrow Public Hall through the eyes of the people who danced there every week.
Byron Coley, Wire magazine March 2022
Audience Comments etc
Three Tides EP
"As ever, a gentle, thoughtful and wistful contribution to the Gently Feral movement."
" there's a great air of reassurance carried in your film. Perhaps it's the combination of Lol's rich voice and his steady pace recounting the why's and wherefores, unquestioning something that is and that will be..I hope Lol et al can make it happen next year.'
"A delightful and gentle film"
"An intriguing meditation on tradition. Really well put together." (28 Dales)
"Very evocative and engaging films, animation and beautiful photographs. Great to record the engagement with local communities..."
"...this is just delightful. It’s beautifully paced and gives a real sense of place."
".. a really lovely yet subtly disquieting piece."
"Novemberism / Foregrounding"
I loved your video and music pieces, They were so touching - something about the richness of everyday experience - the river at the end of the road, the blazer on the back of the chair. something elegiac about them, too - the fleeting nature of those moments."
I saw and heard an evocation of our local hill. I watched a piece of film of George Butterworth and Cecil sharp dancing (a film I have personally watched many times) but saw it through very different eyes. I Heard the words of a poet from Dalton’s 19th Century industrial history singing out here and now. A dusty fragment of 60’s vinyl recording history fascinated us and turned into an imagined world of the dense ordinariness of making pop music in the form of a written story read to us in a dimly lit room.
All involving, evolving and experiential leading to a performance of sound effects, voices and vinyl. Could it be all the voices and writings from the past, the sounds of here and now all emerging from hundreds of record crates? All of this is moving and emerging and offering an insight into a year’s worth of thoughts, exploration and glimpses of the bones of bigger projects and pieces in development."
Gordon Jones EFDSS / Furness Tradition Festival
"Top innovative stuff, we need more of this"
(Seasoning Audience comment)
Barrow Lives and Times Around Recorded Music. 6 podcasts for Barrowfull
I'll Be There A 48 page book of homemade and personalised record sleeves.
Text by John Hall Available through the Merch page.
We really enjoy your work and we celebrate the value it brings to our community. Good luck!
(Crowd fund subscriber)