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Wed 2 Nov 2016, 12:15pm

Where: MBIE, 15 Stout Street, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage is delighted to welcome composer John Psathas and cinematographer Mathew Knight to discuss the locations, ethos and impact of their recent First World War commemorative collaboration, No Man’s Land at our November Public History Talk on Wednesday 2 November in the MBIE Building on Stout Street, Wellington. The talk will start at 12.15pm.

No Man’s Land is a ground-breaking new cinematic performance in commemoration of the First World War. The project was funded by the Lottery Grants Board’s special WWI Commemorative Fund and Victoria University.

Musicians descended from opposing forces of the First World War were brought together on the battlefields in an original composition. These musical collaborations were fused into a unique 80 minute film projected alongside live musicians on-stage. All musicians, live and virtual, performed as one global orchestra.

The project's creators, John Psathas and Mathew Knight, will discuss time spent scouting locations in France, Poland and Belgium (as well as the inclusion of sites in India) and will describe the experience of filming and recording 150 musicians from 25 different countries on these sites.

Why musicians travelling in the footsteps of soldiers 100 years ago? If we could go back in time and say to those on the battlefields “guess what happens here in 100 years” – would they believe us? If we said the same thing to those fighting now, would they believe us? Would we believe ourselves?

The story culminates in acts of kindness: soldiers from opposing sides, ‘enemies’, offering each other water, a cigarette, a shoulder to lean on. Even in what is surely one of the most bizarre and dangerous inventions of the human mind: a place called no man’s land.

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