Sounds of Nature, a new programme of music at Stoller Hall, is helping to fund a ring of forests around the M60 motorway.
The year-long programme celebrates the natural world through music, exploring how music can help audiences connect with the natural world, with performances inspired by climate, nature and the rhythms of life.
And concertgoers will be making a practical contribution to the environment too, with at least £1 of every ticket sold being donated to conservation campaign, City of Trees, aimed at planting trees and restoring woodlands for the people and wildlife of Greater Manchester.
The independent music venue at Chetham’s in Manchester is committed to sustainable practices and bringing positive change through live music.
“As an increasingly sustainable and environmentally conscious venue, it also gives us the opportunity to give something back to the wider music industry, to share best practice with like-minded venues and performers,” says Fran Healey, General Manager at The Stoller Hall. “We are thrilled to bring audiences on this journey with us too. There are so many great composers and musicians – both established and up and coming – whose work celebrates the challenges and also the beauty of nature. This season is designed to shed a spotlight on and celebrate these themes”.
The season opens on 24 February with Freedom To Roam: The Rhythms of Migration – an evening of music and film conceived by flautist and Born Free Patron, Eliza Marshall during a visit to the Inner Hebrides in 2018 which inspired her work on the Rhythms of Migration album which fuses Celtic, African and Indian sounds with classical, folk and a hint of electronica.
The evening starts with ‘Connected’ – a half-hour documentary directed by award-winning director, Nicholas Jones’s and co-produced by Eliza. The film, featuring Virginia Mckenna, author Nick Hayes and rewilding pioneer Alan Watson Featherstone, explores issues around rewilding, conservation, migration, mental health and climate change.
Marshall will then play the Rhythms of Migration album live on stage with co-writers, harpist Catrin Finch, violinist Jackie Shave and Dónal Rogers on guitars/bass plus special guests including tabla player Kuljit Bhamra (MBE) and cellist Robert Irvine.
Other highlights include an interactive installation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with bone conducting headphones. Trinity Laban String Ensemble: A Change of Season – designed and composed by Holly Harding, looks at the fragility of our modern world. The immersive piece takes place in The Stoller Hall Atrium this March and invites the audience and performers to listen to a newly reimagined version of Vivaldi’s iconic The Four Seasons alongside Hollie Harding’s immersive work for string orchestra, electric viola and bone conduction headphones.
In April, Ghost Owl sees Brooks Williams and Aaron Catlow join talents to create an evening of acoustic guitar and violin duets inspired by, and written for, the Barn Owl (aka the Ghost Owl).
The Sounds of Nature programme includes a number of family friendly events aimed at young people such as, The Race to Space: A Musical Adventure – a daytime concert featuring music from Holst’s The Planets aimed at 3 to 12-year-olds. Alongside the concert programme the venue is hosting an exhibition, The Natural World: Rewilding at the Jeremy Haworth Gallery in the Oglesby Atrium until 31 July. The artwork, created by Photography and Fine Art students from Salford University’s School of Arts & Media, explores the space where suburban and urban environments and nature collide and is inspired by the Stoller Hall’s Sounds of Nature programme.
Sounds of Nature at The Stoller Hall is a year-long programme of music inspired by nature starting on 24 Februay 2022. See website for full programme.