Salford lecturer debuts BBC New Creatives project

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Adelina Court has released her short animation film Songs of the City through the BBC’s New Creatives scheme to produce innovative short films, audio and interactive works from young artists.

Adelina, who is a Lecturer in 3D design, has given audiences the opportunity to celebrate urban bird song throughout the streets of Manchester.

Adelina was only 11 creatives selected to produce her work under the film commission.

Songs of the City features the beautiful pen and ink drawings of Adelina Court and lets audiences watch in wonder as a mute blackbird flees the nest to discover a city bubbling with sound.

Adelina has been working on the producing the film since early October 2019 and has worked with some of the industry’s finest producers from Arcus Animation to help bring her idea to life, with Alan Campbell assisting the project from the BBC’s side.  

Her film has been shown on BBC 4’s program Get Animated! BBC Introducing Arts, presented by Radio 1 film critic Ali Plumb. It is also showing on BBC iPlayer and can be watched here.

Adelina said: “I am excited to see that my illustration work is now living in the form of a short film. Songs of the City started out as the final major project of my MA in Illustration. The work has largely been completed during my trips out to Manchester where I would be sketching the city one moment at a time – all while noticing the soundscape of the place. When the New Creatives’ call for film ideas landed in my inbox, I decided to submit it as, in my imagination, the work had always looked like a film.

“Eight months later and with the fantastic support of Arcus Animation Studios, Tyneside Cinema and BBC Arts, the work has come alive with the magical musical score of Robin Dewhurst.”

She added: “Illustration has always been my obsession. Professionally, I just want to create more animation work both in 2D and VR. Currently, I am developing a series of music videos, a full dome VR project with Arcus Animation, and looking to take Songs of the City into full VR.”

To her students, Adelina expressed: “My biggest advice would be to experiment, go for opportunities, and never assume that you are not skilled enough. Creativity is most important. We will always computers and tech, but nobody can take imagination away.”

Songs of the City is complete with a beautifully intriguing piece of music to guide the audience through the journey with the blackbird. Dr Robbin Dewhurst, Reader in Music in the School of Arts and Media, created the music in a collaboration with Adelina.

Dr Dewhurst said: “I've been collaborating with Adelnia since October 2018 and have found the process of approaching a given subject from our different artistic perspectives to be incredibly rewarding. Our mutual interest of urban and pre-urban spaces, ambience and acoustics has already given rise to a series of research presentations under the banner of installation Music for Cities within which we have created an installation, and live performance in Peel Park and at the NWCDTP Meetings of Minds conference at Manchester University last year. Creating the music for Songs of the City gave me a further way of developing the collaboration with Adelina, this time extending the creative team with sound designers and animators. In our ongoing collaborative work, we are now moving into VR platforms and exploring the possibilities of ambisonics applied to music and sound in this new and exciting creative context.

“It has been pleasing to see how this cross-arts collaboration has given rise to similar initiatives within the School of Arts and Media as we are ideally suited to this kind of practice given the richness and diversity of our creative subject areas.”

Furthermore, the project demonstrates immense collaboration between staff in the school. Connoll Pavey, who is the lead Production Technician based in New Adelphi was also the Camera Operator for the video.  ​​​​​​​

Beth Hewitt, Creative Director – Media City Directorate, said : “It is fantastic to see this newly commissioned work by Adelina Court, one of the academic staff within the School of Arts and Media. This is great example of how our staff engage with the media industry, continue to be practiced-based and produce their own work, which then gets commissioned by the broadcasters (the BBC in this case). It is a particularly apt and poignant piece for now and although produced prior to 'lockdown', it resonates much, in these current times.

“Adelina Court is a talented artist and animator creating work, which is acknowledged by the media industry and this is very much a part of how we work within the School of Arts and Media, developing and encouraging industry engagement and practice from both staff and students.”

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