Thurs 13 & Fri 14 Aug 2009
Byron and I have long wanted to make a show together and this year turned out to be the right time to create WALLEN. We are both extremely grateful to Bill Bankes-Jones and all at Tête à Tête for allowing us this opportunity to develop what is a first for us – our first collaboration inspired by our unique family story.
This is a story that has never before been told. A stream of music against a backdrop of images takes the audience on a journey to Belize (their country of origin), to London, to New York; crucial marking places in the Wallens’ personal and professional lives. Their unconventional upbringing forced them to re-define and challenge notions of belonging, distance, and boundaries. These have also been important driving forces in their music-making. WALLEN will be the first time that Byron and Errollyn have collaborated together as a duet; in this unforgettable show, bringing together the genres of classical, jazz, world and popular music.
“Among the highlights of the eclectic Tête à Tête Festival is Errollyn Wallen’s family-inspired show. She tells Time Out about how she and her brother turned blood into music”
Click link below for full article
Created and Performed by: Errollyn (piano/voice) and Byron (trumpet/shells) Wallen
Belize born Errollyn Wallen – ‘renaissance woman of contemporary British music’ (The Observer) – is as respected a singer- songwriter of pop influenced songs as she is a composer of contemporary new music. Recent works include English Folk Songs: From Eleanor to Sweet William commissioned by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group premiered in 2009, All the People of the World (text by Jackie Kay)for the Hallé Orchestra and Carbon 12: A Choral Symphony (text by John Binias) which Welsh National Opera has just toured Wales.
The on-going operatic project Another America is an exploration into the black condition, past, present and future: The Royal Opera House and Nitro commissioned Another America: Earth, premièred it in November 2003 at the Linbury Theatre reviving it in 2005, including a BBC television broadcast. Bill Bankes-Jones was the director. Another America:Fire was commissioned by Push and first seen at Sadler’s Wells in September 2004.
Errollyn Wallen has released two albums of songs: Errollyn (Avie 0049) with her own voice/piano performance and Meet Me at Harold Moores in collaboration with outstanding jazz artists. The classical solo album The Girl in My Alphabet (Avie 0006) received rave reviews at its release.
She also appears on the Brodsky Quartet’s album Moodswings alongside Bjork, Elvis Costello and Sting.
Errollyn Wallen was awarded an MBE in 2007 for services to music – www.errollynwallen.com
Raised in a musical environment, Byron studied classical piano from an early age. He also studied trumpet with Jimmy Owens, Donald Byrd and Jon Faddis in New York. He studied and graduated with a degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Maths from Sussex University.
Recently he has travelled to Indonesia and Africa studying traditional music, which he now integrates into his compositions. Byron has released two albums Sound Advice and Earth Roots which were nominated for the MOBO awards. He collaborated with Talvin Singh on the Mercury Award winning OK. He also has worked with Red Snapper, Hugh Masekela, Manu Dibango, Amampondo, Chaka Khan, George Benson and Billy Higgins. http://www.byronwallen.co.uk/