On the evening of Thursday 19 March 2020, SoundStorm is hosting a very special concert of contemporary folk music at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, featuring 15 top contemporary folk musicians from across Scotland and England, in two separate ensembles. If you want to be transported musically to the Scottish Outer Hebrides – or to beautiful English landscapes – we’d love to see you there. Tickets are available from Lighthouse box office via the link below or by calling the Box Office on 01202 280000. Any proceeds from the concert will be used to facilitate similar opportunities for music education work in the future.
The line-up includes BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year (and Bellowhead member) Sam Sweeney, plus the acclaimed Anglo-Scottish Far Flung Collective, featuring renowned Scottish fiddler/composer Anna-Wendy Stevenson and well-known English singer-songwriter, Alex Roberts – launching their new album. The concert is the public face of a week of workshops in local schools to promote folk music and give young people the experience of hearing and playing live music. All week, the featured players will be working in BCP primary and secondary schools, a partnership between SoundStorm, the University Of The Highlands and Islands Lews Castle College BA (Hons) Applied Music degree, and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). We are really grateful to both partners, along with Lighthouse, Garfield Weston Foundation and Arts Council England for additional support.
The evening will begin with a set from 4 young English players, alumni of the English National Youth Folk Ensemble, alongside leading musicians Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead, Leveret), Miranda Rutter (Methera) and Archie Churchill-Moss (Moore Moss Rutter, Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys). The National Youth Folk Ensemble is an English Folk Dance and Song Society initiative supported by Arts Council England, that gives the most talented young musicians from across England the chance to compose and perform new folk music with the very best of their contemporaries, guided by established musicians, in residencies throughout the year. Entrance is by audition and music is created by the Ensemble (www.efdss.org/learning/young-people/national-youth-folk-ensemble/join). The NYFE is developing a real name for itself, and having previously performed at Cambridge Folk Festival, this year will perform at the 2020 Purbeck Valley Folk Festival for the first time, in its full 18-piece incarnation.
Far Flung Collective will then take the stage, returning to Lighthouse after 4 years to launch a new album, ‘Black Bay’, following a sold out performance in 2016. Inspired by musical exchanges between Dorset and the Gaelic-speaking Outer Hebrides, Far Flung Collective uses landscape, the environment and common challenges of coastal communities to inspire new music – along with ideas collected from young people in school workshops across the Western Isles and Dorset since 2013. The collective has worked with over 10000 young people in over 40 schools in England and Scotland over the past seven years.
Far Flung Collective the band emerged out of the education project in 2016 and went on to record a debut album, ‘Far Flung Corners,’ in 2016. Described in Songlines magazine as ‘beautiful, gorgeous and delightful… a beautiful collaboration’, and a BBC Radio nan Gàidheal CD of the Week, the Collective went on to play a sold out performance at Glasgow’s prestigious Celtic Connections Festival in 2017, along with performances in further venues in England and Scotland.
As well as Anna-Wendy Stevenson and Alex Roberts, Far Flung Collective features top Uist-based viola player Simon Bradley, fantastic young Scottish singer/fiddler Mabel Duncan, fiddle player Selina Clare Ross, pipes and whistles player Sheena Peteranna, accordion player Jamie Anderson and SoundStorm’s own Dan Somogyi on piano and other instruments. It marks the start of a relatively busy period for FFC, supported by a grant from Arts Council England, which will see members join up again in the summer, along with 2 young English young musicians, to compose a new suite of music this time inspired by Southern England, and record a further new album.
SoundStorm is aiming to build enough interest to start a new youth folk ensemble for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole before the end of the year.
Tickets £14.75 (including booking fee) from www.lighthousepoole.co.uk/whats-on/2020/far-flung-collective/ or via the Box Office (01202 280000) or on the night, subject to availability.