News dot2left cropped500pxt
  • Landscape
  • IMG 8472-2
  • Sunset2
  • 4MI-2013-11-28 030
  • Civic Selfie1
  • Torch-2012-05-23 093-
  • Xmas-Lights-2011-11-24 10
  • D4S0472
  • Camilla-2012-10-19 152
  • Big-Bull
  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07-2
  • Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09------30
  • Hares 017cropped
  • ARK Manton -2012-01-14 49-
  • Duke-of-Kent 086
  • MYFC 005
  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters-2
  • D812668
  • D4S9273
  • TdB-Pewsey 044
  • Christmas-Lights 15-11-20 097
  • IMG 9097-2
  • Jazz Fest Sat 572
  • Mop-Fair---10-10-09------08
  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-2

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Arts & Entertainment

One final push for the mighty beam engines in 2016

A steam train runs past Crofton Beam EnginesA steam train runs past Crofton Beam EnginesThe mighty beam engines at Crofton Pumping Station will give one final scheduled push this month, with its annual steam gala.

A range of attractions will entice visitors on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25, including steam vehicles, classic cars, canal boat trips and morris dancers.

Live music ranges from jazz to performances by the Pewsey Male Voice Choir. To add an educational element to the weekend there will be talks about Victorian dressmaking and about the beam engines and their engine house.

Although the facility closes to the public over the winter months, it can still be brought into service doing the job it was designed to do – pumping water 1.6km to the summit of the Kennet and Avon Canal – as happened in Easter this year.

The pumping station is due to reopen to the public in April 2017.

Print Email

Wolf Hall Live! Debbie Wiseman brings music she composed for the TV drama to open Marlborough College Concert Series

Debbie Wiseman (Photo: Michael Leckie)Debbie Wiseman (Photo: Michael Leckie)The music from Wolf Hall - the multi-award winning television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's two novels of Tudor intrigue - opens the 75th season of the Marlborough College Concert Series.    For this unique Wolf Hall Live!  concert (September 18) the composer of the original score, Debbie Wiseman, will be conducting the Locrian Ensemble of London.

Joining them to read excerpts from the first two novels in Mantel's Tudor trilogy will be the actor Anton Lesser who played Sir Thomas More in the television series. In an interview to mark this concert Debbie Wiseman told Marlborough.News: "I loved the books and can't wait to read the final volume."

Debbie Wiseman is a renowned British composer specialising in music for film and television.  Her credits - over 200 of them - include the big screen films Wilde (about Oscar W) and Tom & Viv (about TS Eliot and his first wife) and small screen classics like The Death of Yugoslavia and the theme for Andrew Marr 's Sunday morning programme.

The six-part Wolf Hall television series was adapted from the books by Peter Straughan and was directed by Peter Kosminsky - who lives in Wiltshire and who talked about filming the series at last year's Marlborough LitFest.   

This popular series was Debbie Wiseman's sixth collaboration with Kosminsky.  Previous dramas they have worked on together include her scores for The Promise and Warriors - and she is now working on a four part series Kosminsky is directing for Channel 4, which is scheduled to be broadcast next year.

Wiseman says that such a long-standing working relationship with a director is very helpful: "We now have a musical shorthand and completely understand each other's way of working. I find Peter's projects hugely inspiring."

"The score is there to help the audience navigate their way through the drama, and as the music was thematic - there was a very definite Cromwell theme and Anne Boleyn theme - it meant I was able to use these themes in many different guises and orchestrations as the story unfolded."

Where do you start when you are writing a score? "Most projects start with a script, and then I see the production as it's being edited and start work at that stage on sketching out the score...writing to picture and working closely with the director."

Anton Lesser as Thomas More (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Anton Lesser as Thomas More (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)"With Wolf Hall I started writing themes based on the scripts, and I'd composed Cromwell's Theme and Anne Boleyn's theme before Peter had started shooting. He actually took my demos for the themes on set with him as he was filming."

We asked Debbie Wiseman whether the books' author had influenced her music for the television series: "I met with Hilary at the first screening and she was very complimentary about the score which was a huge thrill for me."

"Although she wasn't directly involved with the score, her style of writing greatly influenced the music. She makes the characters feel very much in the present, not in the past, it allowed the score to not be slavishly Tudor in its style. Much of the score, even when I'm using period instruments such as lute or harpsichord, still sounds modern, and that was a direct result of the feel and style of the writing, and of course the direction."

Debbie Wiseman did not see the Royal Shakespeare Company's staged version of the novels - "I didn't want to be influenced in any way".  The plays certainly had a very different approach to the story and its characters compared to the television series.

The BBC Television series was renowned for Kosminsky's use of candlelight to achieve a personal and intense feel to the drama - did that influence Debbie's music? "Everything affects the score - the lighting, the locations, and of course the drama and characters."

Was there one scene that lived on strongly in her memories of working with Kosminsky, the production team and the actors? "The final scene where Henry goes to hug Cromwell after Anne Boleyn has been executed is a very powerful and memorable moment. I remember writing three or four different pieces of music for that final scene before settling on the right musical tone."

Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) with Henry VIII (Damian Lewis) (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) with Henry VIII (Damian Lewis) (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)

The wait for the final volume of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy goes on - exactly a year ago Hilary Mantel was still researching documents concerning the Seymour family and letters written by Cromwell which are held at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.  

Will Debbie be writing the music when the third volume is filmed for television? "It's quite a long way off until volume three will be ready for TV - Hilary has to finish the novel and then it needs to be adapted by Peter Straughan, and then the cast and Peter Kosminsky need to be available."

Unusually for music composed for a television series, the audio recording of Debbie's Wolf Hall score was at the top of Classic FM's chart within weeks of the broadcast of the final episode in February last year. (The music is still available on CD.)

Debbie Wiseman is not only an eminent composer, she is also known as a conductor and presenter - how does she face up to the complexities of Wolf Hall Live? "I'm hugely looking forward to Wolf Hall Live! Conducting the score alongside readings from the novels is very exciting and we hope that the audience can re-live the magic of Wolf Hall in the concert hall!"

This concert does, of course, have a strong local connection.  Wolf Hall, between Great Bedwyn and Burbage, was the Seymours' home where Henry VIII met the young Jane Seymour, his future Queen.  Wolf Hall has long since vanished and is now little more than a name on a few signposts, the name of a farm and of a later Manor House that has seen better days.

The other concerts in the Series - usually in the Memorial Hall - are:
•    Paul Turner (Piano) - Sunday, 9 October 2016 - 7.30pm
•    Band of the Grenadier Guards - Sunday, 6 November 2016 - 7.30pm
•    Academy of St Martin in the Fields Sextet - Sunday, 22 January 2017 - 3.00pm
•    Choir of St John's College Cambridge - Sunday, 5 February 2017 - 3.00pm - in the Chapel

Information about this concert and the others in the forthcoming Marlborough College Concert Series can be found here - with details of tickets, their prices and how to buy them.

Our thanks to Company Pictures for the Wolf Hall photos.

Print Email

The voice of Euro 2016 comes to Marlborough

Izzy BizuIzzy BizuYou may not know the name Izzy Bizu, but if you’re a football fan you’ll recognise the voice – her cover of Edith Piaf's La Foule used as the theme for the BBC's Euro 2016 coverage.

BBC Sound of 2016-longlisted singer Izzy will be performing at Thirty8 in Marlborough on Tuesday, September 6 from 6.30pm in support of her debut album A Moment of Madness.

Tickets to see the rising star – who has played Glastonbury twice and supported Jamie Cullum, Rudimental, and Foxes on tour – are free to people who buy a copy of her album from Sound Knowledge in Hughenden Yard.

Izzy will be at the shop after her performance to sign copies and meet fans.

For full details, log on to the Sound Knowledge Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/147221745711173/

 

Print Email

Folk duo come to Marlborough

Chris While and Julie MatthewsChris While and Julie MatthewsAward-winning folk duo Chris While and Julie Matthews will be performing at St Mary’s Church Hall in Marlborough on Saturday, September 24 from 8pm in support of their tenth studio album, released just a week before.

While and Matthews have been performing together since 1993, when they were members of The Albion Band.

They were the winners of the Best Duo category in 2009’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and have been nominated nine times since 2001.

Their songs have been covered by a range of artists including Mary Black, Barbara Dickson, Christine Collister and Fairport Convention.

Both multi-instrumentalists, Julie plays guitar, piano, ukulele, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica and accordion while Chris plays guitar, bodhran, banjo, dulcimer and percussion.

Tickets cost £15 from www.marlboroughfolk-roots.co.uk/buy-tickets

 

Print Email

Katherine Jones: Rabley Drawing Centres new artist in residence - and print maker extraordinary

Katherine Jones sketching at the Rabley Drawing CentreKatherine Jones sketching at the Rabley Drawing CentreThe Rabley Drawing Centre at Mildenhall has a new Artist in Residence - print specialist Katherine Jones.  She will be visiting Rabley over the coming months and working on a new portfolio of prints inspired by the countryside that surrounds the Drawing Centre.

Katherine Jones has been a South Londoner for fifteen years - she studied for her MA there - at the Camberwell School of Art (now known as the Camberwell College of Arts): "They had a great print department - and still do."  

Among the public galleries that have bought her works are the Victoria and Albert Museum, the London National Art Library, the House of Lords and Yale University.

For the past three years she has lived with her family - which includes two small and active boys - on a south London housing estate and this estate is the subject of the portfolio of prints she is currently working on.

Recently Katherine was Visiting Artist at Eton College.  She was the third female artist to hold the post.  During her time there she completed a series of sixteen etchings under the title Looking In.

Eton posed a challenge for her: "I responded very directly to what I was seeing - a more journalistic way of looking."  Many of her usual images build on botanical images overlaying them with imaginative metaphors of a fragile world.

There is not much that is fragile about Eton.  Although she did most of her work there in isolation, she found Eton's students 'great fun and obviously very intelligent'. Several of them came to see her work at the London Original Print Fair - and some brought their parents along too.

One of Katherine's difficulties at Eton was simply that since it was founded in 1440, the College and its buildings have so often been represented by artists - some still well known other long forgotten.  She wanted to reflect the history and the College's people in a different way.

Instead of the journalist's notebook, she made dozens of observational water colour sketches - and these became the basis for her subsequent prints which were themselves more representational than much of her work.

From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Chapel' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Chapel' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)    From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Drawing Schools' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Drawing Schools' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)

What, Marlborough.News asked Katherine, led her to choose, out of all the varieties of the plastic and visual arts, print making: "I've always drawn, but with etching the embossed line on a plate is a beautiful thing  - and print making is very addictive."

She explained that the process is in itself an artistic expression:  "As you move a drawn image onto the plate - translating lines into a textural form that will take the ink - you've lost the drawing, but you have the basis for the print version." 

Katherine Jones at work (Courtesy Rabley Drawing Centre)Katherine Jones at work (Courtesy Rabley Drawing Centre)"The image changes a lot in the process - it generates a progression in the work and you can edit it and colours can change."

Last year Katherine Jones had an exhibition at the Rabley Drawing Centre and taught some its members - and she was very pleased to see that the techniques she taught had found fertile ground with one of the artists in the Rabley Summer Show.

In September she will be taking an in depth printing course at the Rabley Drawing Centre - however, we should report that places on that course are already fully booked.

More of Katherine Jones' prints can be viewed on the Rabley Drawing Centre's website

The works shown here remain the copyright of the artist.

 

Print Email

Hundreds turn out in blazing sunshine for the Pewsey Festival

The early afternoon crowdThe early afternoon crowdIt was a bit like a giant picnic festival - hundreds of people chatting, eating, drinking and listening to a good variety of music - under a wonderfully blue sky.

In Pewsey Festival's Magic Roundabout Tent, that was the green and white one, John E Wright sang "It's good to see the sun again..." and nobody would have argued with that.  Not even those who left the sun cream at home and sought the shade. 

For the rest of the crowd, the odd hand-sized cloud caused some consternation.

Cooper's Field sported all manner of food and drinks and fun.  The man turning long balloons into shapes either cuddly or fit for some safe duelling, was doing sterling work.  

We probably have the BBC and their Musketeers to thank for all the young ones chasing each other with Certificate U swords - made out of his very long balloons. Great fun.  In the end most people had a balloon of some shape and form.

Over in the far corner of the field there was a giant bouncy castle raising many   squeals as a little fear at the very top of the stairs turned to exhilaration and delight.

It was thirsty work for the Apes of Rock on the main stage with a playlist that included a number of tributes - and some very distinctive guitar.

Apes of Rock in action... Apes of Rock in action... ...their mascot......their mascot... ...thirsty work...thirsty work

In the green and white tent Simon Hall sang a series well-loved songs.  But his quiet version of Bill Bragg's A New England seemed to get the audience smiling with its theme of a young man who doesn't want to change the world, but is just looking for another girl.  In 1985 that song shot Bragg into the music headlines - perhaps there's a parallel somewhere between 1985 and 2016.

Balloon man with a new swordBalloon man with a new sword A balloon puppy?A balloon puppy? Simon Hall & fanSimon Hall & fan John E WrightJohn E Wright

You could chat to the stilts man...You could chat to the stilts man......or you could just listen & finish the crossword...or you could just listen & finish the crosswordThen suddenly there was a very, very tall man talking down to picnickers and children alike.  A man with an alarming beer belly and bigger-than-Elvis sideburns.

A man wearing eight or nine league boots - and obviously having fun and creating laughter as much from the fairly old as from the very young.  Nothing stilted about him.

Musical treats coming later than your reporter could stay included The Doors of Perception, Sonic Meds, John Otway, Blurred Vision - ending at midnight with a set from Tankus the Henge.  After the amazing sunset, for late stayers there were some overnight tents and camper vans in the car park.

If you could not make it this year, remember to check out the date of next year's Festival.

Print Email

Pewsey art gallery's timely exhibition of local artist's reconstructions of Stonehenge era

Peter Dunn: West AmesburyPeter Dunn: West AmesburyA major archaeological dig begins this week at Durrington Walls - part of the Stonehenge complex - that may change our whole picture of Wiltshire's Neolithic landscape.  Some of the most recent archaeological evidence features in the paintings and sketches by local artist Peter Dunn now at the McNeill Gallery in Pewsey in an exhibition titled: "A History of Stonehenge in Paintings and Sketches".

A huge geophysical survey of the Stonehenge area has made dozens of new discoveries, but the most astonishing is that as many as two hundred 'somethings' lie buried under the bank of Durrington Walls henge.  These 'somethings' may be the remains of standing stones or may be pits dug to take giant timber posts - the four thousand five hundred year old secret should be revealed soon.

It is often difficult for non-experts to imagine how our great Neolithic monuments fitted into the ancient landscape and were used by ancient peoples. Peter Dunn worked as an illustrator and artist for English Heritage from 1985 to 2008 and his close association with archaeologists and historians underlies his paintings.

The aim of Dunn's reconstructions is to use available evidence and archaeological theories to create an interpretation that will inform and inspire people - from academics to young viewers.

The results of archaeological excavations are often difficult to visualise when holes in the ground are all that is left of impressive oak posts, or plaster floors are all that survive of buildings. Landscapes can have changed dramatically over thousands of years and modern buildings and roads can confuse views of the past.

Beverley McNeill opened the McNeill Gallery in Pewsey's Market Place - with a clear view of the back of the King Alfred statue - in November last year.  She had run a successful gallery at Radlett in Hertfordshire for nineteen years until the 2008 banking crisis made her life there impossible.

"I hadn't really intended to open another gallery.  But visiting the Pewsey Festival I spotted this empty shop and I thought 'that is do-able' - and decided to take a chance."

She specialises in finding up and coming young artists who have never exhibited and helping them on their way.  Among them was Charles Moxon whose portrait of Harriet Harman MP is currently on show at the National Portrait Gallery among selected entries for the BP Portrait Award 2016: "I did such a good job, they're on their way!"

Alex Rennie was a resident artist at the Gallery and another of its "new and accomplished young painters".   His series of self-portraits - many showing a Goya-esque intensity - has sold well.  A selection of Alex Rennie's paintings can be seen on the Gallery's website where you can also see more of Dunn's work - and of the Gallery's artists.

Beverley McNeill's current exhibition of Peter Dunn's very Wiltshire paintings is open until August 12.

Peter Dunn:  2600-2500 Durrington in MidwinterPeter Dunn: 2600-2500 Durrington in MidwinterPeter Dunn: Durrington Timber Circle (Rough sketch)Peter Dunn: Durrington Timber Circle (Rough sketch)One of the most popular pieces in this exhibition is in fact a photograph - not for sale and not shown here - of a painting Peter Dunn was commissioned to make by English Heritage.  It is an aerial depiction of the whole Stonehenge complex showing very clearly the relationship between the stones themselves, the huge and mysterious cursus, the connection to the River Avon and Durrington Walls. 

Maybe Peter Dunn will have to paint a new version once the current excavations at Durrington Walls are over.

The paintings are for sale.  But as Peter Dunn does not want to sell his working sketches, the gallery has produced a limited number of signed prints from these striking sketches for this exhibition.

During this exhibition the Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday 11.00am to 5.00pm and Saturdays 11.00 to 3.00pm.

The paintings and sketches in this feature remain the copyright of the artist Peter Dunn.

Print Email

More Articles ...

  • D4S0472
  • Torch-2012-05-23 093-
  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters-2
  • Christmas-Lights 15-11-20 097
  • Duke-of-Kent 086
  • D4S9273
  • MYFC 005
  • Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09------30
  • D812668
  • Hares 017cropped
  • Jazz Fest Sat 572
  • Xmas-Lights-2011-11-24 10
  • Landscape
  • TdB-Pewsey 044
  • ARK Manton -2012-01-14 49-
  • 4MI-2013-11-28 030
  • Civic Selfie1
  • IMG 9097-2
  • IMG 8472-2
  • Mop-Fair---10-10-09------08
  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07-2
  • Sunset2
  • Camilla-2012-10-19 152
  • Big-Bull
  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-2