A partnership with trombonist Rick Taylor and two poets,

Graeme Rigby and Keith Armstrong, in the Dreaming North

project has proved an ability to develop themes in a variety of musical

settings, including arrangements for strings and percussion. Projects include

an album produced by Gateshead Libraries and Northern Arts,

a music-theatre piece 'O'er The Hills' about infamous Northumbrian piper

Jamie Allan, and a special commission for the Tall Ships celebrations in

Newcastle-upon-Tyne featuring stories from the North of England (and the

rest of the world!) all connected with sailing and the sea.The group's highly

acclaimed live performances included the 1989 European Poetry Festival

in Belgium. The history of the River Wear in music, song and poetry performed

by Dreaming North and The Mistry String Quartet was broadcast by the

BBC in 1990. 'Birdsongs' was the last project produced by the group with songs

and words about diverse subjects from nuclear missiles to Chinese ghost stories - and birds!

 

(Two members of the Dreaming North group, Keith Morris (saxaphone, compositions) and Bruce

Arthur (percussion), both wonderfully talented musicians, died tragically last year. Cliché it might be

but their music lives on and we won't ever forget them.)

 

I have also collaborated with writer Keith Armstrong on two further commissions;

one for the Hexham Abbey Festival tracing the history of the abbey and

surrounding district, and one, with writer Linda France, about the life

of painter John Martin.

 

 

 

In April 2006 John Kenny (trombone) and I performed with poet and theatre producer Grantly Marshall; an evening of

readings of Grantly's poetry with compositions and improvisations from the two musicians. This took place in America

House in Munich, Germany. This collective will perform again in Stuttgart and Munich in May 2007.