A Sense of Place was performed live at various venues across the South East.

It combined newly composed music, short documentary films and poetry. The musicians within New Note Orchestra composed six pieces of music that were threaded through the short documentaries.

Five orchestra members were featured in the films exploring the relationship between belonging and places in their lives that have been important in their recoveries from drug and substance abuse. Their personal stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting, bring alive the courageous journey of recovery and the celebration of being well.

Film 1: The Wood

Woodlands are vital. Trees are the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon and give life to the world’s wildlife. For Nick, the woods near to where he lived became a place where he could hide away and take drugs. Now in his sobriety he has had to reshape his relationship with the woods that have held so many memories from his chaotic past.

Film 2: The Church

Spiritual faith and places of worship can offer hope when lives are turned upside down. Anthony was homeless and was offered a place in a monastery. After years of struggling with alcoholism he left the monastery to finally seek help and find recovery. But churches and religious signs have always played a big importance in Anthony’s life.

Film 3: The City

Brighton and Hove is a city of sanctuary. It welcomes those who are hungry and homeless. Rough sleeping has more than doubled in England since 2010. Brighton has the second largest homeless population in the UK. Pat was a homeless alcoholic living in the doorway of Robert Dyas. The services in the city provided Pat with a lifeline and with their help he got sober and rebuilt his life.

Film 4: The House

Deli had a great job, was married with children and living in a big house. To the outside world she was happy and had it all. Then it all started to unravel. Her house became a gilded cage when her drinking became out of control. She was an isolated drinker and hid her alcoholism from everybody. After finding sobriety, she moved into a new flat that her friends have labeled ‘a groovy pad’.

Film 5: The Guitar

Roger was a homeless alcoholic who always had a passion for playing the guitar. This six stringed instrument has been his salvation and has been with him through the highs and lows of getting sober. He has become a well known musician in Brighton and plays with various bands. His guitar has been his constant companion.