A musical documentary inspired and performed by the community of East London’s housing estate, Priory Court, about life during the Covid-19 lockdown 2020. 

 

When filmmaker Kate Hampel and composer Rex Horan were commissioned to collaborate on a crowd-sourced song about the Covid-19 lockdown in Priory Court, they had no idea what it would entail. All the usual modes of communication that they rely on, particularly when people are undergoing challenging situations, were unavailable. 

Instead of face-to-face chats, the creative relationship was forged over text messages and video calls. The traditional approach to film making was turned on its head; this time the subjects filmed themselves. 

Gillian Jacob & Cassie White                           Victoria White with Destiny & Angel                Camron, Zara and Ishmael Abraham

 

The children the team worked with to devise the chorus spoke wistfully about obeying the rules of lockdown, how life ‘outside’ had become a danger. The song that resulted, “Outside” became a celebration of all the things they missed. One resident voiced her concerns about isolated older people cut off from all social contact on the estate, like the morning tea events she organised. Another was heartened that the once fragmented community, troubled by gangs, had come together over the crisis. 

 

PRESS

Waltham Forest EchoFilmmaker Kate Hampel has helped make a musical documentary about life in lockdown for a Walthamstow estate

Local Trust - Music unites community during lockdown

REX HORAN, COMPOSER

 

“Working on Priory Court in the Act was an entirely new and unfamiliar experience for me as a collaborative songwriter. I found the remote nature of the work challenging in that so many communication cues that I rely upon, particularly when working with people experiencing difficult situations, were harder to grasp. These cues and clues are around body language, eye contact and the nuance of language. Whilst these challenges were evident, I was impressed and grateful that the participants were open to the project and trusting of both the team and the process. Their co-operation was inspiring and plenty of material was generated. It was a most rewarding and nourishing experience for me as a writer: and I hope and trust that those involved are proud of what we all made together.” 

The film was produced and directed by Kate Hampel and edited by Dave O’Neill.

 

Rex Horan arranged and composed the score and members of the Priory Court Housing Estate community co-wrote and performed the song “Outside”.

 

The score also featured guitarist Adam Devlin, vocals and percussion from Mina and Sylvester Sigg-Horan. 

It was commissioned by Waltham Forest Council as part of Waltham Forest Virtual Culture. Funded by the Great Place Scheme. www.wfculture.co.uk/virtual 

 

It was funded by William Morris Big Local’s Community Chest programme.  

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Priory Court in the Act
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