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The Self Isolation Songbook short film documents musician Art Terry recording a song a day during the 2020 lockdown. Screening, plus live performance by Art Terry & the Black Bohemians. [trailer link]
On 26 March 2020, the UK went into lockdown due to Covid-19. The next evening, in the sudden stillness, musician Art Terry played a song on his guitar. Lying on the sitting room floor, his partner Helena Smith idly filmed Art and sang along. Equally idly, she suggested that he should record a song a day for the then unknown period of lockdown, and that she should make an accompanying video each day.
For the next 52 days, Art recorded a song each day. On day 8 he began to feel feverish, and on day 9 he was hit by coronavirus, singing through sweats and chills.
Recovering but still weak, on day 15 Art recorded ‘We’re Gonna Make It’, in gratitude to neighbours who were helping out with shopping. This was a touchpaper for The Self Isolation Songbook, when its visual language changed. Instead of a hastily tidied apartment being the backdrop, Helena and Art began to use abstraction and surreal elements.
The Self Isolation Songbook isn’t a polished work – some days the endeavour came close to collapse – but it stays true to its intention, to harness philosophy, anxiety, playfulness, nostalgia and hope to reflect the times we are in. This short film showcases a selection of 17 videos from the 52 days of creativity.
‘Los Angeles born Art Terry simply tells it as it is, a folksy counsellor who comes on with style. Terry is a precious beam of light in a confusing world.’ The Wire
Art Terry- grand piano, vocals
JT Taylor- percussion
Ike Onwuagbu- double bass
Hypnotique- reeds, theremin
Safo NP- trombone
Jojo Re’em- trumpetKayo Anosike-vocals
“Sound system powered by AMOENUS. AMOENUS is an art organisation that facilitates, educated, curates and promotes immersive art centred around 3D sound”.