The Dartington Hall Trust lights up hidden, dormant and previously inaccessible spaces on its 1,200 acre estate with a series of secret gigs and events.
Writer, storyteller and composer Daniel Marcus Clark, working with producer and digital performance-maker Becca Gill, present six unique experiences.
Inspired by the ‘secret’ gig format, audiences book a ticket to a gig or event and the location is announced in a text message half an hour before it begins.
Audiences congregate in The White Hart (Dartington estate) and the text message leads them on an unexpected route to the gig, through newly unbolted doors, allowing them to explore maze-like hallways, hidden interiors and unseen woodland vistas. The route culminates at the gig or event, which will be located in a space previously inaccessible or unseen to the public.
The six-event programme includes five intimate folk-based gigs, including exceptional acoustic string band, The Mountain Firework Company; a double bill from rising stars Oh Pep! and multi-platinum, chart-topping lyricist, Fiona Bevan; singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creator of the acclaimed album ‘Homesongs’, Adem; and wildly alternative cellist, vocalist, avant-singer-songwriter, who’s a long-standing member of internationally acclaimed Elysian String Quartet, Laura Moody.
Psychedelic neo-classical folk rock collective, The Moulettes will headline Dartington’s annual Community Day with a free gig (not-secret gig as part of the series).
Another highlight of the programme is Dartington’s first Catalyst Club, hosted by BBC Radio 4’s David Bramwell. Paying tribute to the traditions to French salon and debating societies, as well as Dartington’s own history of community consultations, a Catalyst Club is a visionary evening of entertaining and thought-provoking 15-minute talks, debates and unabashed optimism.
Drawing on Dartington’s rich history of activism and sustainability, speakers include Red Dwarf actor Robert Llewellyn ‘A Pollution-free Future’; QI’s Steve Colgan ‘A Crime-free Future’; Aspen Glen-Cross ‘How to Grow a Steak’ and David Bramwell ‘How to Transform our Cities’.
“First and foremost, I chose the acts for After Dark because I loved their music.” said Daniel Marcus Clark, curator of After Dark. “All of them are artists I’ve met either on the road, at festivals or at gigs – from all corners of the globe and the UK and whose music is on almost constant repeat in my life.
“Once the line-up was complete, I realized that all of these acts, although stylistically different from one another, had something in common – they are all artists navigating the emotional terrain of human experience with musical skill, honesty, flair and invention.
“Everyone included in this line-up crafts their music with simple acoustic instruments, using innovation in their playing and composition to create exciting new musical worlds. To create vivid and unforgettable shows we are utilizing some of the hidden treasures of the Dartington Estate.”
The After Dark series follows a history of illustrious music at Dartington, its roll-call of outstanding musicians having included Arthur Rubinstein, Igor Stravinsky, Imogen Holst, Benjamin Britten, Peter Maxwell Davies, Yehudi Menuhin and Simon Rattle amongst others.
Look out for the hashtag #AFTERDARK
After Dark runs from April 28 to July 21. For details, times and tickets pop over to the Dartington site.
(from a press release)