Our Own Right Hand The Chains Must Shiver

Our Own Right Hand The Chains Must Shiver - Music by Richard Hames, Film by Ethan Race

Ahead of the culmination of our MECHANIKA competition on October 16th in the Brunel Tunnel Shaft, we wanted to introduce some of the incredibly talented composers and visual artists that we will be showcasing, and to find out a little more about their projects. Here’s an interview with composer Richard Hames and filmmaker Ethan Race about their piece ‘Our Own Right Hand The Chains Must Shiver’...

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So, could you tell us a little about the title?
Our Own Right Hand the Chains Must Shiver explores the transition from the Western industrial labour of the 1800s to the ‘immaterial’ office labour of the 2000s. The film is split into 3 acts mirroring the stages of the production of a modern computer. A journey through the Brunel tunnel shaft links the different stages and acts as a visual metaphor for this transition.

And could you expand a little on each of these three ‘acts’?
The first act depicts mining, whereby screen-grab footage of virtual mining in computer games such as Minecraft and Skyrim is intercut with real footage of mineral mining in Africa. The second act depicts industry, whereby virtual ‘work’ in games is intercut with real factory workers in China constructing computers. The third act depicts the ‘immaterial’ labourer, who, sweltering in an office over the modern computer apparatus by day, by night recreates many of the repetitive labour processes of the industrial era in the virtual realm of games.

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And Richard, did you use this idea of reality mixed with virtual reality in your music?
Absolutely! The music explores the gap between the virtual world of electronics and the corporeal world of humans playing instruments. Broadly consisting of a set of rotating chords played on real instruments, throughout the piece these will be replaced by their electronic replicas.
Meanwhile, the musicians will continue to replicate the gestures on the instruments until these movements lag with the electronic sounds, thereby recreating the feeling of cyberspace.

Tickets now sold out, but please email chris@anima-collective.com to add your name to the waiting list.

To find out more about Richard and Ethan’s work, please visit their websites below:

Richard Hames, Composer

Ethan Race, Filmmaker