New Music Biennial 2017: Errollyn Wallen
Mighty River featuring Orchestra X
Rev John and Mrs Carol Wates & produced by Oxford Contemporary Music
Exploring themes of slavery and freedom, Mighty River combines contemporary classical techniques with spirituals which were introduced to Hull in 1871 by the Fisk Jubilee Singers – an African-American a cappella choir of ex-slaves. The piece, written for orchestra, takes its inspiration from William Wilberforce the English politician, philanthropist and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade who was, very fittingly, a native of Hull. Errollyn Wallen is at ease both as a singer-songwriter of pop-influenced songs and a composer of contemporary new music. She describes her own Orchestra X with the motto, ‘We don’t break down barriers in music…we don’t see any.’ Supported by RVW Trust and The Radcliffe Trust.