The Balcony Theatre Stokers, Gong Lane, Burnham Overy Staithe PE31 8JG
Wednesday 22nd June 7.30pm
In 1937, East Coast journalist and artist Archie White commissioned the yacht Concord of Mersea from Harry King’s boatyard at Pin Mill in Suffolk. His lovingly kept record of Concord’s early years provides a window onto a lost world touched by the shadow of war. Concord’s present owner, the acclaimed classical guitarist James Boyd, brings this story to life in Stolen Years. Extracts from Concord’s original log books provide the framework for a concert of English music ranging from the lute fantasias of John Dowland to the haunting writing of Benjamin Britten, interwoven with poetry by Auden, MacNeice and Larkin.
In 2012, James Boyd will sail along the East Coast of Britain on a unique musical journey. His aim is to commission new music for guitar from today’s leading composers and bring that new writing to many people through the unfolding adventure of his voyage.
He will begin the journey at Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh, sailing Concord of Mersea to the St Magnus Festival in Orkney and returning to the River Alde in 2013. Along the way he will perform concerts at many venues, from quaysides to concert halls, and at the conclusion of his voyage he will have commissioned and premiered over an hour of the finest music, creating an entirely new repertoire. This will be the first time such a significant body of new English music has been created for the classical guitar in recent years. The final recital will take place at Aldeburgh on Benjamin Britten’s Centenary. The influence of the sea is present in so much of Britten’s music, and perhaps he would have approved of this inspiring journey
Boyd has so far raised £10,000, to start the voyage and commission the first new composition. This will be a song cycle for countertenor and guitar by Joseph Phibbs, setting poetry by Nicholas Heiney (son of radio presenter Libby Purves). The premiere will be given by James Boyd and Michael Chance at Aldeburgh in early 2012. This recital at The Balcony will raise funds for a commission from Jonathan Dove, one of the most successful and highly respected English Composers.