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A Distant Echo – Film Score

If, a thousand years from now, archaeologists happen to dig beneath the sands of Guadalupe, I hope that they will not rush into print with the amazing news that Egyptian civilization, far from being confined to the valley of the Nile, extended all the way to the Pacific Coast of North America.
-Cecil B. DeMille

A Distant Echo is a new film by George Clark that explores themes of identity, culture and the construction of history. Shot on 35mm film in Californian deserts used for Hollywood biblical epics, the project draws together film history, Egyptian culture and the tradition of Yorkshire male voice choirs.

In the resonant surroundings of the Leeds Library (est. 1768), the first screening featured a new score composed by Loop Collective member Tom Challenger for the Colne Valley Male Voice Choir (est. 1922) and a reading of a script drawn from the Egyptian film The Night of Counting the Years/Al-Momiaa (directed by Shadi Abdel Salam, 1969). The original film, set prior to the British occupation of Egypt in 1881, follows the negotiations between archaeologists from Cairo and ancient tribesmen, dramatisng the struggle between ancient and modern values and the morality of recovering lost artefacts.

The score was recorded at Huddersfield University during a day of developmental and compositional workshops led by Tom Challenger and George Clark. Alex Bonney and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay recorded the day's events. Challenger then crafted and arranged the score from those initial recordings.

A Distant Echo is being supported by the Arts Council of England and PRS for Music Foundation, Pavillion Arts Leeds and Huddersfield University.