Dorset artist commissioned by Lighthouse to write song about its history

A DORSET-based artist has been commissioned to write a song paying tribute to the history of Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts.

Lorna Rees, who won last weekend’s CoronaVision song contest, has been commissioned by Lighthouse to pay homage to “the part popular music has played in its rich history and in the lives of generations of its audiences.

The song, ‘And the Floor Bounced’ is performed by the Lockdown Band, consisting of Lorna, her husband Adam and children Dylan and Rufus.

Lorna said: “It is such a privilege to be asked to write this song.

“Lighthouse has been a constant in my life, I was born a few months after it opened in 1978 and we used to visit throughout my childhood.

“As an artist I’ve worked with Lighthouse on lots of projects in recent years and my husband got his first job there after leaving school, in the technical team, so we have this very powerful connection.

“Music is a powerful force and memories associated with it last a lifetime, that is why the song has to be about the audiences and their experience. It’s about the experience of going to a gig at Lighthouse and how that can change your life.”

As previously reported, Lighthouse is currently facing a significant financial struggle due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the arts centre is still creating content online and commissioning new work from local artists in a bid to keep in touch with its audience.

Elspeth McBain, chief executive at Lighthouse, said: “We wanted to find a unique way to celebrate what has been the most defining part of Lighthouse over the years – the extraordinary bands that have performed in the Concert Hall – and as a reference to what we miss during the closure of the venue.

“Anyone who has been to a gig here over the years and experienced the unique phenomenon of the Concert Hall floor actually bouncing when everyone dances on it will particularly appreciate the song. It’s a real community memory and we can’t wait until we can reopen and offer the much-needed opportunity for collective socialisation as the final part of our recovery from this time.”

Like many artists, Lorna’s work has completely dried up, which she described as “devastating”.

She said: “The commission from Lighthouse, as important as it is in terms of earnings, is actually more valuable as a show of moral solidarity for artists at this time. Lighthouse and other arts organisations and artists in this area have been absolutely amazing.”

An emergency fundraiser has been set up to help Dorset artists which can be found at https://b-side.org.uk/news.

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