Did you join us in London or Huddersfield for Colm Hogan’s film HERD?

Following the success of Orlando Gough’s 10-day sonic spectacle, HERD, last July as part of Kirklees Year of Music 2023, Artichoke presented the film HERD. Directed by Colm Hogan, this 25-minute art film takes us on a sheep-filled, musical journey through the Kirklees landscape – its rural hills, waterways and post-industrial towns – with a score specially re-mixed by Gough. Six months on, we discovered the deep connections HERD has forged within the Kirklees community, the local music scene and beyond. Special thanks to Extra Curricular and Huddersfield Community Gospel Choir for their incredible performances.

Eddero at Deffer Wood during HERD.

Colm Hogan’s film, HERD, played to packed houses at Tate Modern, London, and Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, accompanied by live music performances and a panel discussion at each. In London, audiences discovered HERD for the first time, while in Huddersfield, hundreds of HERD participants attended the screening remembering and experiencing the project in a new way.

A huge thanks to Sandy Nairne (Art Historian and Curator) and Tracy Brabin (Mayor of West Yorkshire) for chairing the panels and panellists Orlando Gough (Composer and creator of HERD), Colm Hogan (Director of Photography), Qaisar Mahmood (CEO, Communities Together), Helen Featherstone (Director, England North, National Lottery Heritage Fund), Helen Marriage (CEO, Artichoke), Hardeep Sahota (Multi-disciplinary Artist, Creative Director: SAACH), Thabo Mkwananzi (Musician) and to you, our audience, for your thoughtful contributions. 

Helen Marriage presenting at A Love Letter To Kirklees by Colm Hogan film screening at Lawrence Batley Theatre
Helen Marriage presenting at A Love Letter To Kirklees by Colm Hogan film screening at Lawrence Batley Theatre. Produced by Artichoke 2024. Photograph by Beth King.

HERD, was a large-scale sonic art project orchestrated by composer Orlando Gough and produced by Artichoke. A year and a half in the making, the monumental participatory work intertwined the industrial and cultural narratives of Kirklees and paid homage to its rich musical heritage and its historical ties to the textiles industry. At the heart of the project, were 23 handcrafted sonic sheep sculptures by artist Dave Young and Jane Gaffikin, which broadcast soundscapes that wove together tales of movement, sound, industry and labour, and the enduring significance of the wool trade for Yorkshire and its people.

Dave standing with one of the singing sheep sculptures in the HERD workshop. He is wearing a blue checkered shirt and has his hands in his pockets. The sheep is to his left.
Dave Young with Giggit, a medium Rural Sheep, in the HERD Workshop. HERD 2023, devised by Orlando Gough, produced by Artichoke, part of Kirklees Year of Music 2023. Photo by Mark Leeming, .The Pull ©

Hogan’s film captures the experience of stumbling upon these sonic sculptures out in the wild, as they broadcast their soundscapes into the Kirklees landscape and in more urban environments, as well as the extraordinary finale which took place in Huddersfield’s St George’s Square. The diverse range of soundscapes were commissioned from local sound artists and professional musicians, and featured found sounds from Kirklees past and present, a variety of musical genres and around 350 community musicians, all mixed by Orlando Gough and sound designers Sebastian Frost and John Del’Nero.

Tethera in Thornhill Rectory Park
Tethera in Thornhill Rectory Park. HERD 2023, devised by Orlando Gough, produced by Artichoke, part of Kirklees Year of Music Photo by Matthew Andrews.

At the heart of HERD: The Film is an edited version of the soundscape by Orlando Gough, Sebastian Frost and John Del’Nero, blending found sounds from Kirklees past and present together with new works by over 350 community musicians. We’re thrilled to announce that we’re working in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Archive Service to create an online legacy for HERD. Stay tuned to find out where you will be able to access behind-the-scenes footage, as well as the plethora of recordings that made up the different soundscapes.

Keep an eye on the @ArtichokeTrust social channels for the latest about #HERD2023 legacy projects.