International electronic duo ADDICTIVE TV in Berwick filming recording sessions for performance at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
“Ingenious”, “electrifying” and “compelling” are just some of the words that have been used by the national press to describe audio/video artists Addictive TV who last week visited Berwick-upon-Tweed to especially record musicians from the Border regions for their new international project Orchestra of Samples. They’ll perform a one off special version of the show at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema on Friday 19 September, as part of the 10th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival that runs 17 - 21 September.
Sampling and remixing their way round the planet, the globe-trotting duo have performed everywhere from the Pompidou Centre in Paris to the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Shanghai and even this year’s Glastonbury Festival, and now they bring their latest show to Berwick, incorporating samples of Northumbrian and Scottish Borders musicians into the mix – but not only samples you hear, they’re also samples you see!
Explains Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival Director Melanie Iredale: “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!”
To help identify musicians from Berwick, the Borders and Northumberland to collaborate with Addictive TV; Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival worked with sponsors at Newcastle University’s Institute for Creative Arts Practice. The University offers the only degree in Folk and Traditional Music in England.
It’s undeniable that folk music has returned to the mainstream in recent years, with artists like Ed Sheeran and Mumford and Sons becoming household names. And genre-crossover is cited as one of the main reasons for the upsurge, as contemporary folk acts successfully bridge the transition between folk, jazz, classical and even pop and hip hop.
Addictive TV’s Graham Daniels: “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...it really is music without borders!”
Director of the Institute for Creative Arts Practice at Newcastle University, 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."
Recording sessions took place in and around Berwick with seven specialist folk musicians, a mixture of graduates, lecturers and the original founder of the degree course himself.
Alistair Anderson – concertina and Northumbrian pipes, based in Alnwick, founder of the folk and traditional music degree course and co-founder of Folkworks programme helping young people discover traditional music (now run by the Sage Gateshead)
Shona Mooney – fiddle player, from Lauder, based in Gateshead, graduate and lecturer on the folk degree and winner of 2006 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year
Rachel Cross – fiddle player, from Kelso, graduate of the folk and traditional music degree course and also in Newcastle-based band Bridie Jackson and the Arbour
Amy Leach – vocalist, from Edinburgh, recent graduate of the folk and traditional music degree
Brian Martin – harmonica and guitar player, Berwick based
Matt Seattle – Border piper, based in Hawick
Callum Younger – bodhran player, based in Newcastle, current student of the folk and traditional music degree
Playing on stage with Addictive TV on the night as part of the commission of this special performance - sponsored by Berwick-based supporters of the Festival Simpsons Malt - will be: Alistair Anderson (the internationally recognised as the master of the English Concertina), Shona Mooney (the BBC award winning fiddle player, just back from a sell out tour in Canada) and Callum Younger (tipped for big things!)
At only £7 (£6 concessions), tickets can be bought from www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com and from The Maltings Box Office on +44 (0)1289 330999.
IMAGE: FIDDLE PLAYER SHONA MOONEY WITH GRAHAM DANIELS AND MARK VIDLER AKA ADDICTIVE TV