Symphony of the Countryside


'Symphony of the Countryside' is a new film that captures the images, words, music and sounds that make up our rural landscape, featuring content collected by rural touring schemes across the country including Artsreach in Dorset.

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In 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic saw the UK's population forced in to a time of isolation, the national network of rural touring schemes had to work creatively to continue their connection with rural communities. The enforced pause to holding live events in villages up and down the country gave the schemes the opportunity to collaborate on a project designed to explore new ways of enjoying and taking part in artistic practice.

Armed with their own cameras and smartphones, volunteer promoters from across the UK captured sound and video content from their communities during lockdown. These were stitched together by filmmaker Gemma Wearing to create a visual landscape overlaid with music and poetry from artists in each of the participating regions.

“Symphony of the Countryside has been a real journey and the whole process has been very different to how I normally work. It was a bit daunting not being able to storyboard the footage and just having to wait and see what arrived, but I was completely blown away with the quality and diversity of footage that we received. It”s just so amazing to have a piece of work that has so many contributors from across the whole country and that really resonates with how the majority of us have connected with nature during these difficult times" she told us.

“The idea behind The Symphony of the Countryside was to give participating rural communities the chance to share their ideas online and understand each other better as a result. The connection with professional artists drew these ideas and thoughts into a coherent artistic product”, explained Tim Smithies from Carn to Cove, the Cornish touring scheme who co-ordinated the project.