In Toward the Sea I have brought together some of England’s finest performers and composers to begin the creation of a new repertoire for guitar and guitar with voice. New music is at the heart of this idea and it will be inspired by the sea and by my forthcoming voyage from Aldeburgh to Orkney aboard my sailing boat Concord. That voyage, called Sea Change, will begin with a concert at the Aldeburgh festival on June 9th and conclude during the Britten Centenary with a new repertoire inspired, commissioned and premiered during the journey.
Running from March 5th-8th Toward the Sea will conclude with a concert on the 8th featuring the world premiere of Joseph Phibbs’ Shore to Shore, new music by Lester Simpson, Alasdair Nicholson’s The Isle is Full of Noises and newly commissioned poems by Irene Noel-Baker.
The four days provide the chance for me to work with composersJonathan Dove, Alasdair Nicholson, Anthony Powers and Joseph Phibbs, examining the singularities of writing for the guitar and laying the foundation for new works in the future.
Lester Simpson, traditional singer and songwriter of Coope Boyes and Simpson fame, will join us on the second day. Lester and I share a mutual love of the sea and the craft that sail it. We have given concerts in the past that combine our unique sounds with poetry and story telling. Toward the Sea is an opportunity to build on those past events and try out new ideas along with the other artists.
Countertenor Michael Chance will arrive on the day before the concert and work with us in shaping the final performance. He will join me for the world premiere of Joseph’s piece, a setting of poetry by Nicholas Heineyand Sara Teasdale.
The wonderful poet Irene Noel-Baker will be there to inspire us with new writing and her knowledge of literature. Indeed all the artists taking part have a love for books and poetry and their combined perspectives will raise new resonances and echoes for the future.