Orefield

Orefield. Commissioned by AVANE/Rebecca Shatwell for AV14. It received its' premier at The Sage, Gateshead. 

Program notes:

Following previous commissions for AV Festival, Patterson has pursued his interest in the North East landscape by investigating the once extensive lead and zinc mining operations of the North Pennines - industries that reshaped fells and valleys, leaving behind labyrinthine passages running for miles below this northern end of England's backbone.

From recordings of early and recent industrial technology, environmental sound and the ever-present sounds of water and the energy it embodies, Orefield unearths music from below and above ground, exploring the industry's remains as they exist in the landscape today. 

Through the rhythms of water powered machinery at Killhope Lead Mining Museum to a multitude of percussive drips and trickles within the lead mines at Nenthead - sounds that activate the acoustic properties of the long abandoned adits, shafts and levels, Orefield explores and reveals an underworld of water, wood, stone and metal.


Lee Patterson would like to thank Woodhorn Mining Museum, Laura Harrington and Peter Evans, as well as Alan Smith and Helen Ratcliffe of Allenheads Contemporary Arts. 

With special thanks to Michael Boase and the staff at Killhope - The North of England Lead Mining Museum and Peter Jackson of Nenthead Mines Conservation Society for allowing access to their respective mine exhibits.


Further thanks to Rebecca Shatwell and Diana Stevenson.