Lighthouse commissions lockdown song

A SONG commissioned by Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre to celebrate the part that music has played in the history of the arts centre is a tribute to the famous “bouncing floor” in the concert hall.

The multi-use centre hosts drama, dance and all forms of visual art but its beating heart has been popular music. The commissioned song was written by artist Lorna Rees of Gobbledegook Theatre, who won the recent CoronaVision 2020 song contest. The song, And the Floor Bounced, performed by The Lockdown Band – Lorna, husband Adam and children Dylan and Rufus – can be viewed online at lighthousepoole.co.uk.

Lorna’s first stage performance was at the age of ten at Lighthouse in the children’s cast for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She says: “Lighthouse has been a constant in my life – I was born a few months after it opened in 1978 we used to visit throughout my childhood. My parents took me there to see Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and it felt like a life changing moment.

“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. Memories associated with music 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.”

Lorna has included many of those who contributed  memories in the video for And the Floor Bounced and their stories will form part of the venue’s archive.

Lighthouse chief executive Elspeth McBain says: “We wanted to find a unique way to celebrate what has been the 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.”

Like many artists Lorna Rees saw her work completely dry up as the country went into lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic. “It has been devastating,” she says. “Last year my husband gave up his teaching job to work in the company with me, so we saw our family income completely disappear overnight. 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.”