Following the Manchester International Festival premiere, two of the best live artists around come together in celebration of the legendary country star for a mini MBM tour.
Singer Patsy Cline paved the way for a thousand imitations – bridging pop and country with her unforgettable voice and star quality before her life was tragically cut short.
This pair of modern-day icons take on her repertoire for the very first time: John Grant and Richard Hawley.
Known for his searing wit, tenderness and commanding stage presence, singer-songwriter John Grant lends his commanding vocals to proceedings, while Richard Hawley and his band – often considered one of the best live acts in the UK – bring their sumptuous live sound.
Drawing from a songbook full of classics like Walkin’ After Midnight and Crazy, you’ll hear the crème de la crème of country pop from some of the finest performers around.
With songs spanning romance, heartbreak and drama – with a good dollop of joy – this is set to be a real sonic and visual feast. Cowboy boots and Nudie suits optional.
Commissioned by Factory International for Manchester International Festival
If the relentless onslaught demanding obligatory seasonal cheer and consumption is out of kilter with how you sometimes feel, we have a place of refuge for you this Christmas. ANOTHER CHRISTMAS is a FREE to view mini music-led movie that celebrates and welcomes otherness.
Camille O’Sullivan, Douglas Dare and ESKA bring a musical respite of original material and stunning reinterpretations of songs made for Christmas, but given a deep twist of otherness. Camille’s spoken word treatment of Fairytale of New York will have you thinking again about this seasonal belter, ESKA will wrap you in the warm blanket of a breath-taking Silent Night and Douglas’s version of Wham’s Last Christmas takes us on a very new emotional journey to the original.
All these extraordinary and ordinary experiences of Christmas are parcelled up in a 25 min film directed by the outstanding Samona Olanipekun that will Premiere free on 16th December 2021 at 8pm via our Facebook page or the Music Beyond Mainstream YouTube channel.
This project is one driven and united by love, compassion, thoughtfulness and peace. It’s just not not wrapped up in mawkish sentimentality to flog chocolate.
“This is sort of billed as a non-Christmassy Christmas but actually it’s even more Christmassy as a result by trying to focus on the reality of it”, says ESKA. “Not everyone’s sleeping in heavenly peace right now but we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and we wish heavenly peace on people whatever they’re going through.”
Ducceschi echoes this. “This is about connection,” she says. “We always wanted to finish it with a sense of a hug. This is about ‘the other’ but we are all the other.”
Immerse yourself in an atmospheric Indian soundscape as sarod star Soumik Datta and City of London Sinfonia perform a double bill of music for Indian film.
Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray’s cult film Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, will be projected on a large screen with a reimagined live cinematic score (King of Ghosts) that features the haunting sounds of Soumik’s sarod (19 stringed fretless lute), Cormac Byrne’s Irish folk rhythms and City of London Sinfonia.
The film which follows the magical journey of two unlikely heroes, Goopy and Bagha who are granted three wishes by the benevolent yet terrifying King of Ghosts, will take you on a breathtaking and magical journey across rural India – a vintage superhero film at its best.
In the first half of this double bill, Around India with a Movie Camera presents some of the earliest surviving footage from India, as well as enchanting travelogues, intimate home movies and newsreels from British, French and Indian filmmakers, drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive’s early film collection. Commissioned by BFI, Soumik Datta provides his original music as a live soundtrack with percussionist Cormac Byrne and Al McSween on piano.
Taking in maharajas and viceroys, fakirs and farmhands, as well as personalities such as Sabu and Gandhi, this film by award-winning filmmaker Sandhya Suri explores not only the people and places of over 70 years ago but asks us to engage with broader themes of a shared history, shifting perspectives in the lead up to Indian independence and the ghosts of the past.
King of Ghosts Composed by: Soumik Datta Co-Composed by: Johannes Berauer, Cormac Byrne Conducted by: Bill Barclay Performed by: Soumik Datta, Cormac Byrne, City of London Sinfonia Produced by: Shakespeare’s Globe, Soumik Datta Arts, City of London Sinfonia
Around India with a Movie Camera Composed by: Soumik Datta Performed by: Soumik Datta, Al McSween, Cormac Byrne Commissioned by: BFI Directed by: Sandhya Suri Score produced by: Soumik Datta Arts
When you think of games, you might think of dungeons and dragons or high-octane action-packed shootouts. What you might not be expecting are quiet, reflective, beautiful and meditative experiences such as Dear Esther.
Released in 2012, Dear Esther changed the landscape of gaming forever. A man walks a deserted Hebridean island, reading letters to his wife. A rich and poetic story of love, loss and redemption unfolds, accompanied by incredible cinematic visuals and a stunning orchestral soundtrack. The Telegraph described it as “a beautiful and thought-provoking piece of work. It is oil painting, poetry, eulogy and video game all at once. And it’s never less than fascinating.” It is frequently held up as proof that games can indeed be art. Dear Esther Live takes this powerful, emotional experience and brings it to the stage.
Imagine a film being shot in real-time, in front of you. The player pilots the camera through the landscape as the game is played, responding live to the nuances of the music and acting. The musicians are cued from within the game, but approach the experience as a traditional concert, following the tone and flow as it evolves; and the actor drives the story forwards, taking in the music, and the gameplay to shape and mould everything together. It combines the power of live theatre, the cinematic sweep of film, the beauty of orchestral performance and a subtle but innovative use of technology that underpins, rather than defines, the show.
Classical music lovers will be entranced by the haunting score, regularly featured on BBC Radio 3 and ClassicFM – where the composer, Jessica Curry, presents headline show High Score). A quartet, soprano and pianist, all world class players who have graced some of the most prestigious stages in the world, bring to life a rich and powerful suite of music that fuses a haunting minimalism with folk undertones. Curry, who has won a BAFTA and many other international awards for her music, has a unique and deeply beautiful, recognisable voice as a composer, working to combine contemporary compositional techniques with a deep love and respect for British classical, folk and traditional music. It’s impossible not to be transported by this extraordinary music.
Over the last decade, live orchestrations of film soundtracks have become more and more popular, and Dear Esther Live shares many features with these events. Imagine a film being literally shot in front of you – watching the camera being piloted around the world in real-time, and you are close to what the experience will feel like. Dear Esther was deeply inspired by the work of film-makers like Tarkovsky, with his masterful understanding of the slow unfolding of cinematic power; and the collaborations of Greenaway and Nyman, who fuse music and visuals at the deepest of levels to create holistic works that transcend their individual components.
Dear Esther has its roots in theatre. The games’ creator, Dan Pinchbeck, comes from a background in drama, and has cited as inspirations the work of avant-garde practitioners such as Robert Wilson and Edward Gordon Craig in their ability to create immersive, powerful storytelling worlds that operate with a magical pacing and abstraction. This obsession with that wonderful power of the live, of the capacity of performance to transport us as audiences, is at the heart of Dear Esther. On top of this floats an ethereal and poetic text that is inspired by the cut-up explosion of imagery of William Burroughs and fuses this to the love of landscape of Robert McFarlane and the drifting symbolism of poets such as Galway Kinnell and Andrew Greig.
Dear Esther Live is something very new – a ground-breaking use of games within a live performance setting. But it’s also something with deep roots in traditional performance from music and theatre, that is inspired by the beauty and power of landscape and language. Whether you are drawn by the music, the acting, the cinema, the technology or the poetry, Dear Esther Live offers a rich, emotional and deeply affecting event that will transport you to a deserted island and to the heart of love and redemption.
This MBM tour created a one-off opportunity for fans of TINDERSTICKS, established masters of restraint and poetic human emotion, two decades into their career. Creating a unique experience between the band performing their latest album The Waiting Room live in a concert setting accompanied by an ambitious collaborative film project projected on a cinematic scale.
Each track was performed with a short film, a visual interpretation by it’s own director, featuring Christoph Girardet, Pierre Vinour, Claire Denis, Rosie Pedlow and Joe King, Gregorio Graziosi, Richard Dumas and Gabriel Sanna.
Before Star Wars George Lucas’s first feature length 1971 debut was THX 1138, a stylistic Sci-FI movie starring Robert Duval and Donald Pleasence. This MBM tour saw ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION (ADF) perform their exhilarating and fast moving live score along to this paranoid, cult and heavily sampled film.
ADF are celebrated for their brilliant live shows and for performing live soundtracks to films including La Haine and Battle of Algiers. They wear their political hearts on their sleeves as this timely reinterpretation shows; in today’s surveillance led and electronically driven society many of THX 1138 themes have proved to be very prescient.
“Thank you so much for believing in the project and allowing it to happen as it did. It took great vision on MBM’s part to see its potential which, thanks to you, is still growing. It’s rare these days to see organisations helping something as leftfield as THX to get out there and develop, so a massive thanks back at you and all the people at MBM.” – Steve Savale, Asian Dub Foundation
Just over a year since the release of his critically-lauded second album Pale Green Ghosts, and with numerous Best Album of 2013 accolades and a Brit Award nomination to his name, JOHN GRANT embarked on one of his most exciting ventures yet.
John performed this unique seven-date MBM tour with Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Christopher George and orchestrated by Fiona Brice, which saw John’s celebrated catalogue reworked and reimagined within a sumptuous orchestral setting, alongside the world premiere of some especially written new songs commissioned by Music Beyond Mainstream.
Celebrating 20 years of democracy in South Africa, Inala brought together legendary choral group LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO and award-winning choreographer Mark Baldwin and world class dancers including talent from the Royal Ballet.
Performing Inala’s original score by Joseph Shabalala and classical composer Ella Spira, Ladysmith Black Mambazo blend the intricate rhythms and infectious harmonies of their native musical roots with live percussion, piano and strings. Mark Baldwin’s richly visceral choreography unites Zulu traditions with classical ballet and contemporary dance, performed by an exceptional company of eighteen dancers and singers.
Paloma Faith is proving to be one of the most innovative and creative female singers of her generation; never afraid to take risks or push boundaries.
In 2010 and 2012, to critical acclaim, she wowed the Cheltenham Festival and London Barbican by teaming up with 42-piece Guy Barker Orchestra to present full-blown orchestral arrangements of her own material intermingled with classic jazz ballads, and she now takes that to a new level with the Symphonic Grace tour courtesy of Music Beyond Mainstream.
Featuring new orchestral arrangements from her Brit-nominated Fall to Grace album, including the hits Picking Up The Pieces and 30 Minute Love Affair, as well as a few other surprises on the way, Symphonic Grace is yet another bold step in Paloma’s adventurous career and MBM’s repertoire of unrepeatable tours.
With a 42-piece orchestra, brand new orchestra arrangements from Guy Barker, backing singers and fabulous costumes, Paloma Faith was at her most epic for this project.
EFTERKLANG created this epic scale project originating from their expedition to the former Russian mining settlement of Piramida on Spitsbergen, now a ghost town just 1,000km from the North Pole. The band spent nine days collecting more than 1000 sounds.
MBM’s Piramida Concerts tour saw this innovative rock band collaborate with the 35-piece Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of The Sage Gateshead, conducted by André de Ridder. The Danish trio performed as a six-piece, augmented by Peter Broderick (piano), Katinka Fogh Vindelev (choir) and Budgie (drums) of Siouxsie and the Banshees & The Creatures. They were joined by JOHN GRANT to open the concerts.
With special guests Maddy Prior, Thea Gilmore, Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Police Woman), Green Gartside, PP Arnold, Dave Swarbrick, Jerry Donahue, Lavinia Blackwall, Sam Carter & Blair Dunlop
In the years since her tragic early death, folk icon Sandy Denny has emerged as one of the UK’s greatest singer-songwriters. She had a pivotal role in the British folk rock movement of the 1960s/70s both solo and in iconic bands Fairport Convention and Fotheringay.
In 2011 an album of new songs discovered in her archive were completed by THEA GILMORE and released entitled Don’t Stop Singing. Thea joined this unique line up of artists including former colleagues and friends Maddy Prior, Dave Swarbrick and Jerry Donahue alongside young admirers, established vocalists and musicians to celebrate the singer-songwriter who Richard Thompson has described as ‘the greatest British female artist of her generation’.