Social Distancing Festival

22 April 2020
Still image from Contrapunctus video
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University news

Jim Aitchison, Associate Lecturer for Music, is taking part in the Social Distancing Festival, an online artist’s community that celebrates and showcases the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing due to the spread of Covid-19.

Jim is a composer and artist interested in separations and uncertain correspondences between different art forms. His new video music work about art making in creative isolation, is being presented at the festival. “Contrapunctus” deals with the effects of mental adversity on creativity (and vice versa) in the context of psychological, geographical and artistic isolation and disconnection.

The music creates ambiguous 'completions' of hitherto unfinished/abandoned pieces of music from the past (Bach's Art of Fugue, and an unfinished Canon by Chopin). Jim’s film was completed just before the pandemic hit, and multiple venues for screenings were closed.

Jim tells us why he wanted to get involved,

Contrapunctus arose from a 4-year music and moving image project on the effects of disconnection and isolation upon the mind and the making of art. It was incredibly ironic that completing a project about disconnection occurred at almost exactly the moment when mass public distancing was instigated, thus removing opportunities for sharing the work. Once it became clear that performance was going to be impossible due to the global pandemic I sought out other possibilities. I saw, by chance, an item on BBC News about the Toronto-based Social Distancing Festival, and with it a possible first home for the work. I was delighted when Contrapunctus was accepted for presentation by the festival.”

Check out Jim’s work and the great responses he has received for Contrapunctus on his website.

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