World exclusive performance at historic Liverpool location

Edge Hill Station, Liverpool - Entire Station from bridge
Edge Hill Station

Legendary American composer Steve Reich has permitted the creation of a film accompaniment to his masterpiece Different Trains for the very first time in its 28 year history.

For this site-specific performance, presented by Metal, filmmaker and artist Bill Morrison has collaborated with Steve Reich to create a film accompaniment to the Grammy Award-winning work.

Bill Morrison will work with Steve Reich to create a new film commission from archive film stock of train travel during WWII gathered from archives in continental Europe and the US. Metal will present the audio-visual, site-specific performance in an open-air concert at Edge Hill Station in Liverpool, one of the oldest active passenger railway stations in the world.


In September 1830 passengers were carried by train between two cities for the first time ever, travelling from Liverpool to Manchester via Edge Hill Station. This performance will encourage audiences to return to this site to reflect upon the extraordinary social, political and economic consequences of that moment, and in particular the role of the railways during World War II.

Steve Reich, Sound Intermedia and the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) will collaborate to perform this site-specific presentation. The event will also feature a
supporting presentation of Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, performed by Mats Bergström.

The performance on the 29th September will take place just days before Steve Reich’s 80th birthday, and will take place in the presence of the composer.

Different Trains (1988), for string quartet and tape, was inspired by the journeys Reich made between New York and Los Angeles during World War II and that, had he lived in Europe, he may have been forced to travel in Holocaust trains instead.

This project will be presented in partnership with Southbank Centre, Culture Liverpool and Liverpool Biennial. The performance will be live-streamed worldwide by Boiler Room.

Shaun Curtis, Director of Metal, Liverpool said:”Metal is very proud to be presenting artists of this calibre from our home at Edge Hill station, the oldest active passenger railway station in the world. As part of our continuing work in this location it represents a significant opportunity to celebrate the area’s heritage and the quality of the city’s arts and culture.

“Timed to coincide with Steve Reich’s 80th Birthday celebrations, we are excited by the project’s potential to reach a huge and diverse audience through a work of such power and resonance with these globally uncertain times.”

Bill Morrison said: “I am thrilled to bring a film element to Steve Reich’s landmark composition “Different Trains” for the first time since its release in 1988. The challenge for me was to use both the imagery and materiality of film to respond to the delicate choreography Steve has set up between music and spoken word.”

A high-profile Kickstarter campaign will contribute to the funding of the project. This project is funded by Arts Council England, Liverpool City Council, Film Hub NWC,
with additional support from ABW Architects

Different Trains: Live
Thursday 29 September, 7.00pm – featuring Steve Reich, London Contemporary Orchestra and Sound Intermedia
Metal, Edge Hill Station, Tunnel Road, Liverpool, L7 6ND; Tickets from £17
Different Trains: A film by Bill Morrison
From 15 September, the anniversary of the first ever passenger railway journey, Metal will present Bill Morrison’s newly commissioned film accompaniment to Different Trains as a continuous installation at Edge Hill Station
15 September – 16 October
Metal, Edge Hill Station, Tunnel Road, Liverpool, L7 6ND
Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm, Free

For more information visit

Liverpool Waterfront