Friday 9 December 2022

A dislike of plastic elves and glowing Santas spewing out rainbow snowmen in every direction

Martin Green
Martin Green

Composer (and one-third of the innovative folk band, Lau) Martin Green has created two new works for Opera North exploring the meanings behind our festival rituals. Green is a self-confessed Christmas curmudgeon, "I'm not what I’d call a Christmas person", he admits. "I love people, music, doing stuff — but do I love Christmas? I’m not sure", and his two new works explore different sides to the festival.

At Harewood House, his new sound installation Tannenbaum takes an old tune and explores the way it is used for the carol, O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) and The Red Flag, using recordings from a folk session at the Waverley Bar in Edinburgh. The installation can be experienced as part of Harewood House's Long Live the Christmas Tree display.

Then on 17 December 2022 at the Howard Assembly Room (and 22 December at Sage Gateshead), Green's Lighting the Dark knits together folk tunes, songs and carols with the story of a spiritual journey from despair in the queue at Argos to a blazing, brass-led epiphany about the meaning of the season and its traditions. To perform it, Green will be joined by friends including Irish fiddle player Ultan O’Brien of the band Slow Moving Clouds and a brass trio comprising composer and improviser Laura Jurd (trumpet);, Danielle Price (tuba), and the brilliant young Glaswegian trombonist Anoushka Nanguy.

Full details from Opera North's website.

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