Remarkable duet between Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Elsecar sound sculpture by Ed Carter revealed online

A remarkable performance between Grimethorpe Colliery Band and a sound sculpture by artist Ed Carter, inspired by Elsecar’s innovation, has been launched online. 

The Mute Still Air is a unique sculptural sound installation, musical instrument, and graphic score project by Ed Carter, celebrating the pioneering work of Benjamin Biram at Elsecar. 

Originally commissioned for Elsecar Heritage Centre it was later displayed at Wentworth Woodhouse. Now the stunning work can now be experienced online. 

The piece reflects on the importance and significance of Biram’s contributions to the Elsecar collieries in South Yorkshire, which then transformed work underground around the world. The engineer introduced many safety improvements and his inventions saved thousands of lives. 

Grimethorpe Colliery Band worked in collaboration with artist Ed Carter to create a powerful performance, which accompanied the piece where it’s been displayed. 

The Mute Still Air takes its name from a line in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Eolian Harp”, written the same year that Elsecar New Colliery was sunk (1795). The poem describes the sound of a wind harp, which is named after the Greek god Aeolus, who reputedly kept the wind in an underground cave. 

Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Elsecar was at the heart of the industrial revolution becoming an international centre of iron making and coal mining. 

Benjamin Biram’s contribution was invaluable, through his investigations and engineering expertise he developed safety measures that saved thousands of lives. It’s important that his work is remembered, and the sculptural sound installation is a brilliant way to reflect this heritage in a contemporary way. 

Ed has created a remarkable piece of work and it is great that people will be able to experience it digitally.”

To view Mute Still Air visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYGExj0RqW0&t=7s

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