Emily Bronte’s “Spellbound” (Wild Winds Coldly Blow) with Music by Nigel Clarke

Featuring

The Grimethorpe Colliery BandShaun Dooley (narrator) and Helen Varley (tenor horn),

Lorne Campbell (Photography) &  Michael Hamilton (Video Design)

 

 

Article Taken from 4Barsrest article

Grimethorpe Colliery Band has used its time away from the contest and concert platform due to the COVID-19 crisis to concentrate on a number of new artistic projects.

The first to come to fruition is a collaboration between the band, composer Nigel Clarke, actor Shaun Dooley, photographer Lorne Campbell, creative video producer Michael Hamilton and tenor horn soloist Helen Varley to bring to musical life an evocative poem written by author Emily Bronte.

Wild Winds Coldly Blow

‘Wild Winds Coldly Blow’, is inspired by her poem entitled, ‘Spellbound’ written in 1837, which evokes the bleak landscape of the Yorkshire moors.

It describes the magnificently rugged, imposing nature of the moorland with the music bringing a darkened sense of evocative atmosphere to bear through Helen’s eloquent playing.

Ambitious

Speaking about the project Helen told 4BR: “It has been really exciting to be part of something so ambitious.

Working with such a superb team of collaborators to bring it to life has been engrossing, but we were keen to develop something different, and I think that’s resulted in a quite beautiful presentation.”

The poem is narrated by actor Shaun Dooley. This is not the first time Shaun has worked with Grimethorpe, as they collaborated together on the hugely successful Children in Need album last year.

The ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Gentleman Jack’ star is also an ardent supporter of the band through his strong ties to the village, as his father, grandfather and great grandfather all worked at the Grimethorpe Colliery.

Latest technology

‘Spellbound’ was recorded using the latest smart phone technology to try and show what can be achieved despite severe performance restrictions, with the audio put together by Griff Hewis, a specialist engineer who has worked on the band’s ‘Brassed Off Live’ performances.

Meanwhile, the collaborative artistic concept also utilised images from renowned photographer Lorne Campbell and the video design skills of Michael Hamilton, which utilised the isolated farmhouse called ‘Top Withens’, said to be the inspiration for Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights.’

Creative excellence

Speaking exclusively to 4BR, Grimethorpe Band Manager Andrew Coe said: “We’re thrilled to link up with such creative excellence to produce ‘Wild Winds Coldly Blow’.

Nigel Clarke’s music, brilliantly performed by Helen and the band, combines so beautifully with the evocative imagery. We’re immensely grateful to Shaun for his time and input and our thanks go to Griff, Mike and Lorne for their work.

It’s been a great team effort under the most challenging of circumstances, but one which we hope shows that Grimethorpe remains one of the most creative brass bands in the world.”

Grimethorpe have always striven to be artistically ambitious and I’m delighted that this project has shown that once moreMusical Director, David Thornton

Historical culture

Musical Director, David Thornton was equally delighted. “Yorkshire is rich in historical culture and brass bands should play a central role in celebrating it.

Projects like this can also juxtapose that heritage with the most contemporary use of technology and then link it to the wonderful music of a composer of Nigel Clarke’s standing and Helen’s superb artistry.

Grimethorpe have always striven to be artistically ambitious and I’m delighted that this project has shown that once more.”

Spellbound (1837)

Emily Bronte

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed in snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.

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