Marlborough composer’s new choral work to be performed in St Mary’s Church
Ed Puddick’s choral work ‘One Universal Shout’ will be performed for only the second time on April 4 in St Mary’s Church by the Marlborough Choral Society and Dodecantus Chamber Choir.
Ed, who lives in Marlborough and whose partner Hayley Lambert runs 'Packaging Not Included' in Hughenden Yard was commissioned to compose the piece in 2019 by the Greater Manchester Music Hub to commemorate two hundred years since the Peterloo Massacre of 1819.
‘One Universal Shout’ was first performed at a special gala commemorative event in the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester in September 2019 involving community choirs, a chamber choir and a jazz orchestra.
Ed, a jazz musician, composer and arranger also teaches at the Guildhall and the Birmingham Conservatoire. He also runs a new music forum in co-operation with The Ivors Academy.
He told Marlborough.news, “It’s not everyday that you get a composer having a piece performed in his home town. I’m really looking forward to hearing it again. St Mary’s Church will be a more intimate setting than the first performance.”
In ‘One Universal Shout’ Ed uses the words of three eye witnesses to the Peterloo Massacre. This was so named to describe the events in St Peter’s Field, Manchester on August 16, 1819 when the cavalry charged into a crowd of over 60,000 who had gathered to demand an end to the Corn Laws and the reform of parliamentary representation. Eighteen people were killed and over six hundred injured.
The 'Times’ reporter Johns Tyas wrote the only article credited as being without propaganda. Samuel Bamford, a poet, was in the crowd that day and he later wrote a detailed eye-witness account from prison. Finally, Ed used the words of Henry Hunt, a pioneer of parliamentary reform, whom the crowds had come to hear.
“My intention was to tell the story of the Peterloo Massacre so people would have a better understanding of it. I also wanted to make the piece enjoyable to learn, to perform, and to listen to.
I chose to focus on the spirit of the people of Manchester. The final words of the piece are ‘The people, the reformers of Manchester, are not to be put down’. There is a modern resonance with the Arena bombings in Manchester and the reaction of the city to that event. It was something that everyone was able to relate to.”
Ed describes the style of ‘One Universal Shout’ as “intentionally modern, groove writing with an identifiable beat. It crosses the boundaries between classical and jazz, with some gospel elements. I want people to find a modern engagement with the piece.”
David Ripley will be conducting the performance in St Mary’s Church. “I’m very excited for the choirs to perform a new piece by a local composer. It’s really good to do something different. A seven-piece jazz band, with Ed on drums, will be accompanying the choirs.
Ed is a great musician and the fact that he’s local gives the piece more of a personal resonance.”
David’s wife Jo also has a family connection with the Peterloo Massacre. “Jo’s great great great grandfather was a Manchester mill owner and captain of the yeomanry who were sent in to disperse the crowd listening to Henry Hunt. He was presented with an engraved ceremonial sword which is still in the family.”
A recording of the first performance of ‘One Universal Shout’ can be found on the soundcloud of Ed’s website www.edpuddick.com