News: What If? Compilation Album and launch event @ Durham Students Union | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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A year ago a conversation took place between between the co-founders of RTProjects and music promoter DownByTheRiver about alternatives to pharmaceutical interventions for people who experience depression and/or anxiety related symptoms. They discussed the studio in Durham (the Open Art Surgery) that uses art to save lives; a project that has done so much good, but yet was struggling to find funding to keep it going. From this conversation two organisations decided to join forces to make some money and Voila!!! The What If? Compilation was born.

The album was compiled by Down By The River and features some of the finest, most talented, folk artists out there, with sales going directly to RTProjects. The title track What If? was a collaboration between musician/political activist Steve Pledger and Beano from RTProjects and was written especially for the album. Other artists who donated a track to the album include Martin Stephenson, Anne-Marie Sanderson, George Boomsma, Peg Powler, Scott Wainwright, Lee Maddison, Raghad Haddad and Sam Slatcher, Nathalie Stern, Gem Andrew and Simon Wood and Tamara Kazziah.

The launch event takes place on Saturday 1st June at Durham Students Union and features a selection of the musicians who have contributed to the album. Fittingly, Jamie Harwood of The Violet Chimes and headliner Martin Stephenson agreed to be a part of the night. Jamie’s mum (who was also Martin’s aunt Tommi) attended RTProjects during her later years. Martin dedicated an album to his aunt in 2018 and the track ‘Thomasina’ features on What if?

Also performing at the event are distinctive indie-folk artist Anne-Marie Sanderson, Heartfelt melody maker George Boomsma, Peg Powler’s very own Ian Bartholomew, singer-songwriter Lee Maddison and, of course, title track composers Steve Pledger and Beano.

Tickets for this fantastic event for a fantastic cause are £20 ADV and available here.

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