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Redesdale in Music and Stories

The Redesdale in Music and Stories project was initiated and managed by Roddy Matthews of the Coquetdale Music Trust and funded by Revitalising Redesdale. The aim of the project was to record local voices and stories from people who’ve lived and worked in a variety of different areas of Redesdale; talking about farming, forestry, music and dancing, working at Otterburn Mill or life on the Otterburn ranges. As such it gives a snapshot of life and changing times in Redesdale in living memory.

The finished recording combines edited interviews with 6 local people and local folk music played by Roddy Matthews on the fiddle and Ian Stephenson; both well respected local musicians. The Music and Stories project was inspired by Alnwick’s Baliffgate Museum & Gallery Out of Town (OOT) oral archiving project and we’d like to thank Malcolm Corbett, Ella Shaw, Rosie Hindmarsh, Kathy Scott, Robert Anderson and Don Clegg for agreeing to take part in the project and for sharing their wonderful stories and voices. The plan is to archive the full recorded interviews with the Baliffgate Museum and Northumberland Archives at the Woodhorn Museum where they’ll be available to the public, in addition to the edited version of the interviews and music on YouTube. It’s well worth a listen and runs for 35 minutes.
All compositions are by Roddy Matthews, played by Roddy Matthews, Ian Stephenson, Andy May and Sophy Ball. Copyright for all music remains the ownership of the recording artists.

A world premiere performance of the project was given by Roddy Matthews, Emily Stephenson and Ian Stephenson with narration by Katie Matthews at the End of Project Celebration event on 22 September 22 at Elsdon Village Hall. They were joined by Mike Tickell who recounted and sang some wonderfully evocative Northumberland ballads; accompanied by Alan Lynch on guitar. This was followed by some enthusiastic ceilidh dancing to finish off the event.

End of Project Celebration Event photos courtesy of Cliff Lamb and James Innerdale


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