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Folk music students and graduates join international multimedia orchestra


Staff, students and graduates of Newcastle University’s Folk and Traditional Music degree are taking part in an international music project.

They are participating in the Orchestra of Samples, a multimedia experience which has seen audio/video artists Addictive TV travel around the world for the past four years recording improvised music sessions with more than 100 musicians.

They are hosting a special one-off version of their show at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in September and headed to the town earlier this month to record samples of music from Northumberland and the Scottish borders.

Among the musicians with links to Newcastle University’s Folk and Traditional Music degree – the only course of its kind in England – who took part were rising folk star Shona Mooney who is an award-winning fiddle player and a lecturer and graduate at the University. Joining her were fellow fiddle player and graduate, Rachel Cross, who plays with the band Bridie Jackson and the Arbor. Vocalist Amy Leach was involved as was bodhran player Callum Younger (pictured), who is still a student at the University. Founder of the degree, concertina player and Northumbrian piper Alistair Anderson also took part.

When Addictive TV perform their show at The Maltings in Berwick on 19 September, they will be joined live on stage by Alistair Anderson, Shona Mooney and Callum Younger.

The musicians became involved through the festival’s relationship with its sponsor,  the Newcastle University Institute of Creative Arts Practice, which brings together the University’s excellence in the arts, including music, digital film making and art.

Director of the Institute, Professor Eric Cross, said: "The University is delighted to be working with the team from the Berwick Film Festival and Addictive TV on this commission.

“The Orchestra of Samples captures the essence of creative arts practice today where traditional music, film making, improvisation and innovative digital practice merge to create a new kind of audio-visual experience. We are also very proud that our talented staff and students are so closely involved in the project. We are looking forward very much to the event in Berwick on September 19th.”

Graham Daniels from Addictive TV said: “Orchestra of Samples is a twist on folk meets world meets electronic, it’s been such an eye-opening experience, filming musicians all round the world, and we really wanted to include Northumberland’s rich folk heritage, so coming here was fantastic, recording the sessions with really talented local folk musicians and we can’t wait to come back and perform with some of them in September. But now the hard work begins creating new music from sampling what we’ve shot, and blending very different artists together, that’s when the magic happens!  It’s like working with a huge supergroup of artists but who’ve never met!”

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival Director Melanie Iredale said: “Graham Daniels and Mark Vidler from Addictive TV have spent the last four years filming improvised recording sessions all over the world with more than 100 musicians.  Percussionists, singers, flautists, guitarists, from as far away as Africa to the Himalayas, and now right on our doorstep with local musicians from both sides of the Border.  We were so delighted that the duo took up our invitation to perform at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival - it’s a real first for us, especially as they’ll also be joined live on stage in Berwick by some of those local musicians!”

Tickets are £7 or £6 concessions and can be bought online and from The Maltings Box Office on +44 (0)1289 330999.

Photograph courtesy of Berwick Film & Arts Media Festival.

published on: 31 July 2014