One of the highlights of this summer’s Leigh Folk Festival will undoubtedly be the concert in Leigh Wesley Methodist Church, featuring the final performance from the Estuary Songwriting Project team. Last year the Festival commissioned 8 emerging and established musicians, songwriters and composers to produce a set of original songs on the subject of the Thames Estuary as a celebration of the event’s 25th anniversary. A stunning set of songs and tunes emerged from a week’s residency at Chalkwell Hall in September 2016 as part of Metal’s ‘Culture Lab’ programme, and has already been performed on previous occasions to great acclaim – at the Estuary Festival on Southend Pier in October, and more recently at Cecil Sharp House in London, home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society. The material is musically diverse but forms a cohesive and compelling suite of compositions, all themed around the Estuary’s landscape, natural history, legends and folklore.
The artists involved, three of whom were recent winners of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, are:
HAZEL ASKEW, M.G. BOULTER, LUCY FARRELL, PIERS HASLAM, ROSHI NASEHI, NICK PYNN, ALASDAIR ROBERTS and KATE WATERFIELD
Each performer hails from a different musical background and brings their own individual style of songwriting and instrumental playing to the piece. The differences make for a unique and exciting collaboration between these highly talented artists.
This will be the final concert performance from the team, so festival fans should ensure they don’t miss out. The event takes place on:
Friday June 23 at Wesley Methodist Church, Elm Road, Leigh, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10, available in advance from music.leighfolkfestival.com .
The Leigh Folk Festival’s Artistic Director, Paul Collier, says ‘we wanted to mark our landmark 25th anniversary year by commissioning a group of folk artists to reflect musically upon the festival’s rich heritage and its unique location in Leigh-on-Sea, at the mouth of the Thames. The compositions which emerged were highly impressive, and reflect the friendly, collaborative spirit of the week’s residency. It’s a fitting legacy for a festival which started small and has grown to where it is today – an annual event attracting up to 20,000 people over the course of a weekend’.
The project has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery, through Arts Council England.