By Jenny Dyson, Dec 3 2016 11:00AM
A week ago today, myself and the wonderful harpist Elinor Nicholson had the pleasure to create and perform a concert programme of music and poetry for the 'Voices from the Somme Exhibition', now being shown at Brockhole Visitors Centre in the Lake District. We had only had a month to put together a programme and rehearse. We felt that most of the standard flute and harp repetoire didn't relate closley and personally enough with the even of the battle of the Somme, so created a programme mostly of music orginally written for other instruments.
My highlight was our performance of Butterworth's song cycle, 'A Shropshire Lad', originally written for male voice and piano. To ensure no meaning was lost ,we provided the audience, with help from the team at Brockhole, the words to each of the short songs. When preparing the work, I often got chocked up with the emotional content of the songs and I wonder how singer's are able to control their emotions and voice! As a duo we rehearsed carefully, ensuring that we expressed the music as if we ourselves were singing the songs. If you are not yet familiar with this wonderful work, listen to it - the humanity and truth, coupled with the musical simplicity creates a window into the time of the Great War and into the hearts of the people who lived and fought through it.
We had a terrific time meeting the various curators behind the exhibtion and had a fun interview with Dave Turly for Lakeland radio! It was an absolutely beautiful venue to perform in and to visit, the grounds were absolutely stunning and catered for all the family. If you have time do travel up to Bockhole and visit this fantastic exhibition.