INTERVIEW: BBC Radio 3 After Dark Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Kinbrae by Steven Gribbin

On the Spring Equinox weekend of Friday 18thSunday 20th March, BBC Radio 3 present a special dawn till dusk event at Sage Gateshead and Star & Shadow Cinema (in partnership with the ever-reliable TUSK), which aims to transport audiences through the twilight hours.

Alternative vibes and electronic soundscapes will make up the programming. Alan Davey, BBC Radio 3 controller explains what’s in store:The line-up will include established classical, electronic and jazz artists as well as renowned poets and thinkers. From the innovative electronics of British duo Darkstar and lush soundscapes of German DJ Christian Löffler, the event will also feature an evening with cult singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan and an atmospheric poetry cabaret hosted by Ian McMillan.”

Andy and Mike Truscott, who make up Scottish duo Kinbrae, will be performing their ambient soundscapes which combine synthesisers and brass alongside field recordings. “Being asked to do this show alongside a host of interesting and diverse acts has made us feel we’re back on track again.” The twin brothers share. “We also have visual artist and collaborator Steven Gribbin joining us to provide visuals, which we hope will immerse the audience further into the experience.”

Other elements of the line-up include a four-hour immersive ‘deep night’ performance featuring Manchester Orchestra, Xenia Pestova-Bennett and Ed Bennett and multi-instrumentalist and composer Memotone; sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun performs a traditional Indian raga at sunrise, as part of a dawn event which also features nature beatboxer and sound artist Jason Singh; and over at TUSK’s Star & Shadow event, sets by eclectic duo Space Afrika, Congolese-Belgian project Nyati Mayi & The Astral Synth Transmitters and violinist Rakhi Singh make up the highlights.

The line-up will include established classical, electronic and jazz artists as well as renowned poets and thinkers

Another highlight will come from a unique live performance of The Sleeping Forecast, with presenter Viji Alles reading BBC Radio 4’s The Shipping Forecast to a specially curated mix of BBC Introducing music. Viji explains how the project came about. “Over the years [The Shipping Forecast] has evolved from a thing of utility to something that is poetic and beautiful and evocative. I was born and raised in Sri Lanka so I’m acutely aware of how the Shipping Forecast is integral to Britain’s identity as a nation surrounded by sea areas. So the opportunity to enhance and build on a 12-minute Shipping Bulletin, to embellish such a long-standing institution with the sort of cutting edge music that comes from BBC Introducing is going to be absolutely cool.”

Local future-folk artist Jayne Dent (aka Me Lost Me) is also part of the line-up, she shares what audiences can expect from her performance: “I imagine it’ll be quite a surreal event,” she says. “I think it’ll bring a lovely buzz – especially because it is so unique to have an overnight performance in Hall One of the Sage…with beanbags! Hopefully it will shine a spotlight on our corner of the country, which doesn’t often get the credit it deserves for its brilliant and varied musical offerings.”  

BBC Radio 3 present After Dark Festival from Friday 18th-Sunday 20th March at Sage Gateshead and Star & Shadow Cinema.

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