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Image for Debs Newbold, Mary Hampton and Dave Price

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Debs Newbold, Mary Hampton and Dave Price

1 hour, 45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 24 December 2009

Presented by Verity Sharp.

Including a seasonal tune played on the ukulele, Finola o Siochur singing a Christmas song from the Irish Celtic tradition and organist Carleton Etherington playing Von Himmel Hoch by Garth Edmondson. Plus powerful group singing from the congregation of Liberty Baptist Church in Alabama alongside carol singers at the Royal Hotel, Dungworth, near Sheffield.

And in a special collaboration session at the BBC's Maida Vale studios, a trio of performers take us on a winter's journey, through song, spoken word and percussion. Traditional storyteller Debs Newbold, folk singer Mary Hampton and experimental percussionist Dave Price weave a rich aural tapestry of sounds, stories and songs, taking fragments from traditional winter tales and adding new material and improvisations to create a unique Christmas Eve soundworld.

The three performers, who have never worked together before, create a modern-day radio ballad, based on a winter theme. Each uses their own speciality, possibly venturing into areas unknown, and draw on traditional pagan winter stories and folk songs about the frosty season, combining fragments of these with experimental and perhaps theatrical percussion.

Debs Newbold is a renowned storyteller and cabaret performer, who has long been telling tales from her Anglo-Irish family, and is currently the English Folk Dance and Song Society's storyteller-in-residence at Cecil Sharp House in London. Mary Hampton is a young folk singer from Brighton, whose enchanting and often eerie folk singing mixes the traditional with the new. Percussionist and composer Dave Price is a member of the Nozferatu collective and works with the Gecko physical theatre company as well as pursuing various other projects, involving artists such as Regina Spektor, Gwyneth Herbert and Aqualung.

Music Played

18 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Lyman

    Lyman Mele Kalikimaka

    Performers: Arthur Lyman

    Merry Readymade (To Whom It May Concern), Readymade

  • Image for Trad

    Trad Sleigh Ride

    Arranger: Coconami Performers: Coconami

    Wish You Too, Trikont US 0387

  • Image for Radian

    Radian Git Cut Derivat

    Performers: Radian

    Chimeric, Thrill Jockey Thrill CD 224

  • Image for Anon

    Anon Anon - The Farmer

    Arranger: Carr/Wood/Cutting/Tweed Performers: Two Duos

    Albion, Navigator 29

  • Image for Change Ringing

    Change Ringing Bristol Surprise Maximus

    Performers: The Change Ringing Handbell Group

    Change Ringing on Handbells, Saydisc CD SDL 310

  • Image for Trad

    Trad Jag haver ingen kärare

    Arranger: Haltli Performers: Frode Haltli (accordion), Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, (voice), Garth Knox (viola)

    Passing Images, ECM 1913 985 6022

  • Image for Dhuibhir

    Dhuibhir A Dhia na Nollag

    Performers: Finola Ó Siochrú

    Solas Na Soilse, Foras na Gaeilge FOSCD002

  • Image for Drever/Green/O’Rourke

    Drever/Green/O’Rourke Horizontigo

    Performers: Lau

    Arc Light, Navigator 20

  • Debs Newbold, Mary Hampton & Dave Price Session

    • Image for Debs Newbold, Mary Hampton & Dave Price

      Debs Newbold, Mary Hampton & Dave Price "A Midwinter Tale"

      Recorded 27th November 2009

  • Image for Edmondson

    Edmondson Von Himmel Hoch

    Performers: Carleton Etherington (organ)

    The Three Kings, Delphian DCD34047

  • Image for Max Reger

    Max Reger The Virgin's Slumber Song

    Performers: Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum

    The Three Kings, Delphian DCD34047

  • Image for Dissard/Sanchez

    Dissard/Sanchez Je et Tu No Croient plus au Père Noel

    Performers: Marianne Dissard & Amparo Sanchez

    Wish You Too, Trikont US 0387

  • Image for Thompson/O’Rourke

    Thompson/O’Rourke Glencoe

    Performers: Richard Thompson

    Grizzly Man, Cooking Vinyl CookCD360

  • Image for Trad

    Trad The Bible's Right

    Performers: Sister O. M. Terrell

    Goodbye, Babylon, Dust to Digital

  • Image for Hamrick

    Hamrick Lloyd 503

    Performers: Liberty Baptist Church

    Awake My Soul, Awake Productions

  • Image for Trad

    Trad Swaledale

    Performers: Billy Mills & carol singers at the Royal Hotel, Dungworth

    Hark, Hark! What News, Village Carols VC009

  • Image for Mann

    Mann Blooming Youth 176b

    Arranger: Gellert/Jones Performers: Rayna Gellert & John Paul Jones

    Awake My Soul, Awake Productions

  • Image for Animal Collective

    Animal Collective Two Sails on a Sound

    Performers: Animal Collective

    Here comes the Indian, Paw Track PAW001

  • Debs Newbold, Mary Hampton & Dave Price Session

    For the December Late Junction Session Verity Sharp brought together a storyteller, folk singer and experimental percussionist, to weave a unique tapestry of sounds, story and song on a Winter theme. Debs Newbold, Mary Hampton and Dave Price had never worked together before Late Junction approached them and they spent a day at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios crafting an evocative story, part soundscape, part folk ballad, telling ‘A Midwinter Tale’.

    Debs Newbold, story teller in residence at Cecil Sharp House, was inspired by a tale collected by the late Duncan Williamson, in which Old Father Time visits a couple in their remote house on an unforgiving winter’s night. Crafting the story anew, Debs worked with folk singer Mary Hampton to create a musical narrative that would match her new tale. When the two met percussionist Dave Price, and his battery of instruments, for the first time at Maida Vale they added further layers of musical expression to the story. As well as tam-tam, kit drums, timpani, vibraphone, and celeste Dave played temple bowls hidden inside a prepared grand piano, and also managed a spot of fiddling and singing. Mary added melodic elements on guitar and piano, but also sang and played toast racks and metronomes, adding to the layers of sound that underpinned the tale. Every part of the session, except the sound of the arctic wind, blowing in from the depths of the BBC sound effects archive, was created on acoustic instruments and recorded live. The story ends with a new, enthralling version of ‘The Cherry Tree Carol’ written especially for the session by Mary Hampton.

  • A Midwinter Tale Score

    A Midwinter Tale Score

    Late Junction Session Score drawn by the artists


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