- Date: 2 December 2009
- Artform: Music
- Region: South West
In 2009 Bristol-based musician and composer Sarah Moody, was awarded £21,225 from Arts Council England, South West to work with a group of artists in research, rehearsal and production of a new music and storytelling show, The Singing Bones. The show is touring the South West and Wales in 2009 and 2010 before touring across the rest of the UK and internationally.
The Singing Bones is performed by the Devil's Violin Company, who are: Daniel Morden (one of the UK's leading exponents in storytelling), Sarah Moody (cello and voice), Oliver Wilson-Dickson (violin) and Luke Carver Goss (accordion and guitar).
The project builds on the success of their last show The Devil's Violin, which was created in 2006 and was performed 60 times to approximately 6,500 people. It had a unique style, combining elements of storytelling, live music recital and theatre. The Singing Bones develops further the relationship between narrative, emotion, timbre and rhythm. It is a dynamic fusion of music, song and the spoken word.
The aim of the project was to create a piece where music and storytelling can take each other's place. The company researched folk narratives and composition, then during a three week rehearsal period integrated the two elements into a performance where the roles of music and the spoken word are akin to those of actors in a conventional play. By pushing their own thinking about the roles of music and the spoken word, the company has overcome audience expectations/prejudices about what a 'storytelling performance' is and revitalised the experience for them.
'One of the most stunning experiences I have ever had in a theatre' - Audience feedback
It is this unique fusion of different performance arts that both creates a broad appeal and breaks down boundaries between artistic disciplines.
Funding from the Arts Council has been vital. It has allowed the company to offer the production to rural touring schemes at a significantly reduced price and it means a quality production is within financial and geographical reach of these rural communities. It has enabled the company to lever in funding from other sources, such as Arts Council Wales and the PRS Foundation.
The show's producer, Rachel McNally said: 'Overall, achieving the funding means that the creative team can give the project the time and dedication it needs to achieve a high quality and engaging performance piece that will have a broad appeal. It will enable the company to promote storytelling as a vibrant, enjoyable and accessible artform.'
Finally, funding has also assisted the company in the development of its international touring. It has facilitated the development of positive relationships with new audiences, organisations and promoters; and a performance piece that breaks down boundaries between artforms. It has enabled the company to offer venues a uniquely different theatrical experience and for The Singing Bones to become self-sufficient once the funded period has ended.
For further information and tour dates visit: www.thedevilsviolin.co.uk