Health researchers perform new work inspired by COVID-19 experiences at RNCM festival

Photo credit: Dan Bentley 

Two University of Liverpool researchers who are part of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) will join a virtual performance of a new work inspired by their experiences of COVID-19, on Thursday, 17 June.

Dawn, on the Morning After the Storm is a new work by composer Zakiya Leeming, who has been collaborating with health data researchers since 2018 to create music informed by their work.

The piece is a result of discussions with UK members of the global International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) about their experiences working through the COVID-19 outbreak.

ISARIC4C, led by investigators from the University of Liverpool, University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London, is recognised as the sovereign COVID-19 research programme to meet urgent public health needs for the UK. It is a collaboration of over 200 scientists from 11 institutions and NHS teams from 350 hospitals. Outputs from the project have informed the UK’s response to the current pandemic, based on data and biological samples from patients in hospitals across the UK, and it is one of the largest COVID-19 projects in the world.

The piece will be performed as part of the third edition of RNCM’s Future Music festival, produced by the RNCM Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music (PRiSM), which celebrates cross-disciplinary collaboration.

The University of Liverpool’s Professor Calum Semple will play the bagpipes and Dr Shona Moore will play violin.

When Leeming asked ISARIC4C Chief Investigator, Professor Calum Semple OBE, what a piece about his experience should describe, Semple replied, ‘Like Dawn, on the morning after the storm’. For Semple, it was about coming together to play, in the same way the consortium came together to respond to the challenge of the virus.

Shona Moore, Postdoctoral research associate in clinical infection, microbiology and immunology said: “Taking part in the project was quite therapeutic and allowed me some time to de-stress and focus on learning and recording the piece. It was really fun to go through this process with my ISARIC4C colleagues. The project definitely reflects how we came together in response to the pandemic. We have worked hard and found creative solutions, everyone has had their part to play.”

The performance takes place via livestream on Thursday 17 June 2021 at 1.00pm, and will be followed by a recorded discussion between the composer and ISARIC performers.

Click here to watch the broadcast.