Different Trains 1947

As part of the 2017 UK/India Year of Culture, Actress (Ninja Tune), Sandunes, Jack Barnett (These New Puritans), percussionist Jivraj Singh and vocalist Priya Purushothaman have come together to deliver a series of three audiovisual events titled Different Trains 1947.

Musical inspiration comes from Steve Reich's seminal 1980s composition “Different Trains”, one of the first pieces outside mainstream music to use sampling. The piece was constructed by Reich using pre-recorded conversations with several people talking about train journeys in the United States. He also collected train sounds from the 30s and 40s, and weaved these fragments together with a live string quartet.

Different Trains 1947 looks to India and the stories of those who lived through the events of that year, with new visual work from award winning film-makers, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (20,000 Days on Earth), featuring material from the BFI National Archive’s unparalleled collection of rare films of pre-Independence India which have survived from the earliest days of cinema.

Different Trains 1947 will be premiered in Liverpool as an open air concert at Metal, Edge Hill railway station – the oldest active passenger railway station in the world – on 27 September 2017. The performance then moves to Barbican Hall London on 1 October 2017 and finishes at Magnetic Fields Festival, within the grounds of a 17th Century palace on the edge of the desert in Rajasthan, India on 17 December 2017. Electronic music duo Darkstar will also present "Trackbed", a new composition in collaboration with young adults from migrant communities in Liverpool.



Different Trains 1947 is presented by Metal, in partnership with Warp Records, Barbican Centre, and Boiler Room, plus Indian partners Wild City and What About Art?

Different Trains 1947 is funded by Arts Council England's Reimagine India fund, with British Council as Digital Partner, plus additional support from PRS Foundation, Northern Rail, BFI National Archive and Film Hub North West Central - proud to be a member of the BFI Film Audience Network.


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