Metal Militia - Commissioned by Berwick Visual Arts

This is a two part project, taking as it's starting point the birth of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers; a regiment whose barracks are now a museum in Berwick-upon-Tweed. In 1689, the Earl of Leven walked through the streets of Edinburgh banging a drum to raise people's awareness of an imminent attack from the Jacobites. In the space of two hours he raised a militia of 800 men who successfully defended the city and went on to form the KOSB regiment. In acknowledgement of this, the regiment retained the unique right, by law, to raise a militia 'by beat of drum'.

At the Gymnasium Gallery a sound and light installation brought together multiple heavy metal drum samples to create an immersive visual experience. This was drawing drawing on my own interests in the wider cultural associations with rock music and heavy metal, associations with war, terror and death, along with the idea of a subculture or gang, brought together by a shared experience, association or moment.

Alongside the exhibition was a performance in which I worked with legendary extreme metal drummer, Nicholas Barker (Lock Up, Brujeria, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth) and members of the Berwick RBL & Eyemouth RBLS Pipe Bands. On Friday June 6th, they performed a selection of traditional piping songs, played along to extreme metal drum beats.

The logo for the project was designed by Christophe 'Lord of the Logos' Szpajdel, famed for his work with some of the world's biggest Black Metal bands.

A clip of that performance can be seen HERE, or for the full thing, HERE

For more images of both parts of the project, click HERE

For a great Guardian preview of the project, click HERE and scroll down