Image from the collection of the Austrian Film Museum
Frame enlargement Georg Wasser
Enthusiasm is A project by Victoria Donovan and Stefhan Caddick featuring my original music.
Enthusiasm is a migration story spanning Merthyr Tydfil and Ukraine; the 1860s to the present day. This innovative, interdisciplinary one-day arts event brings together musicians, members of the community, archivists and historians to take a radical look at a little-known historical episode that links Merthyr and the South Wales Valleys to the Donbas in Ukraine and asks how the legacy of this past continues to resonate in our social, cultural and political landscape today.
In 1869, Welsh industrialist John Hughes founded the mining town of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, initiating a wave of migration from South Wales to Eastern Europe. 1917 and the approaching Russian Revolution saw the hasty exit of the industrialists who had followed Hughes, fearful of the revolutionary ferment. 100 years later, in the present day, Ukraine and the Donbas are once again at the centre of a violent conflict that has led to the internal displacement of over a million people.
I was commissioned in November 2016 to write and record and original re-scoring to Dzinga Vertov’s 1930 masterpiece film, Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass.
Here is a teaser video featuring an short excerpt of my original music:
Film maker, Nic Finch made a short documentary about the event featuring a clip of the soundtrack being performed live by myself with Oli Montez and Aidan Taylor:
This project gratefully received funding from Arts Council Wales and the University of Saint Andrews