Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have begun work on an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project that aims to explore the life and work of electronic music pioneer and choreographer Ernest Berk.
Over the course of the next three years, a three-member team will be conducting interviews and studying archives in order to create the most comprehensive picture possible of the multi-faceted figure’s work. The team will be establishing a new archive of Ernest Berk materials at Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield, and a CD anthology of the artist’s electronic music has been compiled which is scheduled for release later in 2024 by NMC Recordings. There is also a book planned, which is already being written and is set for publication in 2025.
The team is being led by Prof. Monty Adkins and Dr. Sam Gillies, who have previously published and undertaken AHRC funded work on the tape archive of composer Roberto Gerhard, along with artist Ian Helliwell, whose book ‘Tape Leaders’, was first published in 2016 by Sound On Sound. The researchers say that they are keen to hear from anyone who may have any personal memories, direct links or resources associated with Berk and the groups he was closely connected to, including Dance Theatre Commune, Lyra Ventura, and the Modern Dance Group — or any venues where he gave performances and taught classes, such as the Stanhope Institute, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, The ICA, LAMDA and the Diorama Arts Collective.