Sounds from Beneath centers on a sound work for which Mikhail Karikis invited a coal miners’ choir to recall and vocalise the subterranean noises of a working coal mine. Karikis then invited artist Uriel Olrow to collaborate on the video which depicts a desolate colliery in South East England brought back to life through song. The sunken mine transforms into an amphitheatre resonating sounds of underground explosions, mechanical clangs cutting the coal-face, wailing alarms and shovels scratching the earth, all sung by Snowdown Colliery Choir grouping in formations reminiscent of picket lines. Sounds from Beneath extends Karikis’s exploration of the sculptural and political dimensions of voices and their relation to professional identity and marginalization, and connects with Orlow's interest in landscape as a site of memory and history.
In her essay Echoes from the Deep curator/writer Katerina Gregos writes: "At once political and poetic, the film cuts through any expected conventional documentary realism and resonates with pathos dignity and emotional force. It functions as a salvaging of memory, an ode, a tribute, and a requiem all at once [...] It captures the essence of the act of coal mining, while recalling the picket lines and intimating a strong sense of male identity and the solidarity of sharing a common purpose in work and song."
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