Local young people from across Cumbria have been celebrating Cumbria’s creativity past and present, composing a new piece of music inspired by William Wordsworth. We are delighted to be able to share a virtual celebration of their new piece created through the project Encountering Wordsworth, with an online film while the full premiere performance of this new work has been postponed until next year.

Encountering Wordsworth is a creative music, poetry and multimedia response to, and celebration of, William Wordsworth’s 250th birthday. It has brought together over 130 children from schools in the Lake District to create a new composition inspired by Wordsworth and his relationship with nature. Although lockdown has meant that the project could not culminate with a concert by Manchester Camerata and the young people in Ambleside in April 2020, the online film showcases their work, giving a sneak preview of the new music, co-created with composer/arranger Laura Bowler and sound artist Dan Fox.

“It’s been such a joy to work on the Encountering Wordsworth young composer’s material because it is so rich, my job was just to orchestrate it.” Laura Bowler, composer/arranger

The short film will launch on:

Monday 13 July at 2pm on Wordsworth Grasmere’s YouTube channel

premiering an arrangement of the new collaboratively composed piece recorded by Manchester Camerata and celebrating the range of creative work young people have been involved in throughout the project.

Encountering Wordsworth began life as a series of discussions about how to involve the wider community in Cumbria in an exploration of Wordsworth’s work and philosophy through music and visual arts. The project is a collaboration between numerous partners and artists, bringing their particular specialisms to the creative work. It is the fourth Cumbria Calling collaboration between Orchestras Live, Cumbria Music Hub, Manchester Camerata and Encountering Wordsworth is also part of Wordsworth Grasmere’s Re-imagining Wordsworth programme. The project involves the Cumbria Calling Young Composers group, three primary schools and a special school collaborating with professional composer Laura Bowler, sound artist Dan Fox and musicians from Manchester Camerata.

Encountering Wordsworth is the fourth of our Cumbria Calling projects with Orchestras Live and Manchester Camerata and the most ambitious yet. Working with Wordsworth Grasmere, composer Laura Bowler and sound artist Dan Fox has brought fresh and challenging perspectives to the project, inspiring a real depth of creative engagement from our young people. We were so disappointed that the live premiere of Encountering Wordsworth had to be postponed, but this film enables our young people to celebrate their creativity whilst we wait for a rescheduled performance and the premiere of their new work in April 2021.” Simon Yeo, Manager of Cumbria Music Serviceand Lead for Cumbria Music Hub

“The energy, creativity and synergy within these groups of young people, inspired by the sights and sounds of Wordsworth’s favourite river, the River Duddon, and the words he wrote about it, is a joy to see. I had the pleasure of hosting the inspiration days at Grasmere and the workshop leaders really brought out the best in the young people. The film whets our appetite for the eagerly awaited live performance next spring and how appropriate that the film focused on the Duddon premiers on 13th July, the same day in 1798 when Wordsworth revisited another favourite river, The Wye, leading to his first great poem on the power of Nature on his very being: ‘the nurse / The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul / Of all my moral being’.”

Jeff Cowton, Curator & Head of Learning, Wordsworth Grasmere

“Working in partnership with Cumbria Music Education Hub over a number of years has produced many large-scale creative projects and a selection of new repertoire for the Youth Orchestra to perform. Young people have been at the heart of these projects composing, performing and presenting their own work with the support of professional artistic teams from Manchester Camerata and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Having Wordsworth Grasmere as a partner this year as well as sound artist Dan Fox, has brought a whole new artistic dimension to the creative work. We hope you enjoy the film as a snapshot of the work they have created and will join us for the premiere in Ambleside in April 2021”

Jan Ford, Senior Creative Producer, Orchestras Live

“Manchester Camerata has relished its work with Cumbria Music Hub and Orchestras Live. It’s provided us with the opportunity to engage at a deeper level with both audiences and communities alike and strengthened our connections to them as well. We’ve recently had to adapt our practice with Encountering Wordsworth – taking the music workshops online – but our established bonds with all the people involved means we’ve nonetheless continued to serve them in an engaging, educational and rewarding way. Manchester Camerata look forward to sharing the finished work in person with everyone in April 2021.”

Bob Riley, Chief Executive, Manchester Camerata

The film will be available on the Wordsworth Grasmere YouTube channel from 2pm on Monday 13 July.

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