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Living by Water

Music writer Laura Barton visits parts of the rugged countryside of Northumberland and the coastal city of Sunderland to explore how music and landscape are intimately related.

The music writer Laura Barton visits four corners of Britain and listens closely to the music found in different landscapes.

In this first episode, Laura visits parts of the rugged countryside of Northumberland and the coastal city of Sunderland on Tyne and Wear to explore how music and landscape are intimately related.

In an environment defined by a beautiful coastline and great northern rivers, Kathryn Tickell, the violinist and Northumbrian piper, and Adrian McNally of the folk group The Unthanks share their experiences of performing and arranging traditional tunes that seem to have emerged from the sea and been hewn from the soil.

Members of the Sunderland band Frankie and the Heartstrings take Laura on a tour of the shop they established in the heart of the old industrial city to sell coffee, artworks and records, as well as to provide a rehearsal and gig space. They also perform acoustically in the famous Watch House, from which volunteer lifeboatmen would keep an eye on the Roker seashore.

And Peter Brewis of Field Music, based in a former industrial unit on the banks of the River Wear, tells Laura about the distinctive accents of music from this part of the North-East.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sat 5 Mar 2016 10:30