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By EMMA KNIGHTS
Friday, July 27, 2012
Norfolk’s landscapes are set to take centre stage in a special concert at a Norwich theatre.
Winterton beach, Worstead Church and Norfolk’s night sky are just some aspects of the county being represented in music by composer Patrick Hawes, the Maddermarket Theatre’s newly-announced patron of music, at the concert Visions of Norfolk: Towards the Light in September.
Mr Hawes – who composed The Highgrove Suite for Prince Charles’s 60th birthday – will be performing his Towards the Light album against a backdrop of images of Norfolk artist David Dane’s oil paintings of scenes from the county.
It is the continuation of a creative partnership between the two neighbours, who live in the Catfield area and it is the first of many projects Mr Hawes plans to do with the Maddermarket after meeting the theatre’s artistic director, Genevieve Raghu, via Twitter about a year ago.
Mr Hawes, who won acting awards as a schoolboy and taught English for 16 years, said he was relishing the chance to once more incorporate literature and drama into his work.
“The show in September is to celebrate Norfolk and the people of Norfolk as a vibrant source of inspiration for creativity,” he said.
“My collection Towards the Light was written shortly after my move to Norfolk in 2005. The pieces depict the changing landscapes and seascapes that surround where I live and were all written during my Classic FM residency.
“Towards the Light, the main piece, was written in the season of Epiphany. On one level it reflects the wise men and the star but it is generally about discovering a whole new type of light in Norfolk. I had heard people mention it before but it was only once I lived here I understood. The light in general is more diffused, it is more subtle. It is ever-changing in a way more noticeable than in any other part of the country I have lived.
“Stargazer is about the night sky on Christmas Eve 2005, a brilliant bright night. Ebb Tide is about Winterton beach on a misty, dank November afternoon – Winterton is my favourite beach around here because it is totally unspoilt and almost always empty.
“Some of the pieces are inspired by Norfolk churches – My Beloved Spake is about Worstead Church.”
For each piece of music, a painting by Mr Dane has been chosen to accompany the performance in the concert.
“David’s work is very mystical and sometimes you look at it and think, ‘it is beautiful but can it be real?’. But if you visit Sutton Fen where David lives it is extraordinarily pretty and the way he paints is truly reflective of that place,” Mr Hawes said.
Mr Dane said 99pc of his work was inspired by Norfolk. “It is because Norfolk is a place of mystery still. It has not been spoilt,” he said.
“You can go on the Broads and get lost, and wake up in the morning and all you can hear are the wading birds and the ripples of the water passing by your boat, and you think: ‘this is amazing I have escaped from the world.’ Dusk and dawn are my favourite times.”
Among Mr Dane’s paintings chosen for the concert is a picture also called Towards the Light, which depicts Sutton Fen at dawn.
Winter at Bure Cottage, a painting of an old solitary marshman’s cottage at Stokesby, has been paired with the music Arioso because both Mr Dane and Mr Hawes feel their two pieces of work have a air of solitariness.
Eternal Light, which shows the sun coming up over St Benets Abbey, has been linked to Mr Hawes’ Ave Maria, an interpretation of the prayer, meanwhile The Windmill at Turf Fen, close to How Hill, has been linked to Mr Hawes’ Serenitas.
Also during the show, Mr Hawes will give a premiere of some music he is writing about angels.
Miss Raghu and Mr Hawes – who is an ambassador for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts – also plan to work together with schools on Mr Hawes’s children’s opera, The King’s Ransom, which is planned for next summer.
The theatre is looking for schools for the project, and also children to take part in an excerpt of the show that will be performed at the September concert.
• Visions of Norfolk: Towards the Light is on Saturday, September 1, at 7.30pm at the theatre. Tickets cost £12. VIP tickets, which also include pre-show drinks with Mr Hawes and Mr Dane, cost £16.
For more information visit www.maddermarket.co.uk or call 01603 620917.
A free exhibition of Mr Dane’s work is at the Maddermarket from August 13 until September 6.
• Schools interested in taking part in The King’s Ransom, or parents of young people interested in taking part in the September 1 preview, should email email@example.com