I worked with the fabulous Brighton People’s Theatre composing for Tighten Our Belts, a show that told the real-life experiences of local people affected by austerity.
Under the direction of the wonderful Naomi Alexander, alongside choreographer Gary Clarke and with a multi-talented performance troupe, many of whom had never been on stage before, many of whom were the people who were struggling financially, we collaborated to present everyday accounts of living in poverty through music and dance.
This project was really exciting, important and empowering work.
Click here for a review of the performance.
Cycle of Songs was an Arts Council England funded project commissioned by Cambridge City Council, devised by the award winning Pilot Theatre and Historyworks to mark the Tour de France visit to Cambridge on 7th July 2014.
I was commissioned by Helen Weinstein to write a choral piece with Rowena Whitehead to celebrate the place names of Cambridge on the theme of riding bicycles round Cambridge, called Why We Ride, and based on the poems of Hollie McNish & Inja. Read more about Why We Ride here. Also, I also composed a piece for the Cambridge Choir called ‘Women of Note’ to record for the Cycle of Songs, which told the History of Women to celebrate the ‘Unsung’ Women of Cambridge! Read more about Unsung Women, and listen to audio parts here.
I also lead a massed choir in a flashmob style busk in several locations around central Cambridge, and conducted the choir on the steps of the Fitzwilliam Musem as the Tour de France cyclist went past. The photos below were taken during the project.
All the photos in the slide who are taken from the Historyworks Flikr Photostream.
Visit the project website.
The Chalk Circle Collective is about to start the first leg of our REVOLUTIONARY BALLADS tour!
This project first started a few years ago, when I arranged the libretto from The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertholt Brecht as part of a school project.
The songs sat, unsung for a while, until Frankie Armstrong and I were talking Brecht in a bar one evening (as you do) and she told me about her Pirate Jenny album and repertoire of Kurt Weill and Hans Eisler with her accompanist Mikey Price. And a plan was hatched to combine the two sets into a Brechtian Bacchanalia of Revolutionary Ballads!
So I gathered the (rebel) troops and was extremely lucky that many of my good friends – all phenomenal musicians and Natural Voice Teachers – agreed to be part of our coup!
Revolutionary Ballads is launching this weekend: 19th – 21st September 2014, and we are playing in Cardiff, Lower Lydbrook and Bristol. We then hit London, Brighton and Lewes 3rd – 5th October. The attached poster has all the details and the ticket prices are £10 full price and £8 concessions.
Our poster has all the details and it would be great to see you there!