MIXTAPE: Kerrin Tatman, Moving Parts Arts | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Words: Kerrin Tatman

The fourth edition of Newcastle Puppetry Festival is fast approaching! From Saturday 8thSunday 16th April, puppets large and small will descend upon Newcastle’s venues and public spaces. There is something for everyone, with shows, workshops, outdoor theatre, talks and films for adults, kids and families. As Artistic Director of the festival, I’ve put together a Mixtape of my favourite songs to celebrate our upcoming fourth edition.


Evanescence – Never Go Back

Since I was 13 Evanescence have been my all time favourite band – and I’m not embarrassed to admit it! This year I saw them in Leeds and they are still just as epic, even after 20 years of touring and releasing. This track is from their Synthesis album, which features orchestral scoring mixed with electronic backing – a step away from their usual guitar-based anthems.

Henge – In Praise of Water

Genre-bending Henge have been making intergalactic waves on the festival scene over the past five years and are definitely one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Henge closed the 2019 Newcastle Puppetry Festival at Alphabetti Theatre – one of my fondest moments in our programming history!

Cosmo Sheldrake – Wriggle

Cosmo Sheldrake plays around 20 instruments and almost everything you hear in his music is performed by him. Inspired by nature, birdsong and field recordings, his alternative approach mixes classical, art-song and soundscape to create a unique sound you can dance, relax and ponder the world to.

Britney Spears – Lucky

This song brings me back to Year 6 disco where I was right at the front performing my own dance routine alone to the DJ (so cool). And to this day Britney is my ultimate queen of pop.

Dmitri Shostakovich – String Quartet no. 8 Allegro Molto

Although a classical composer, Shostakovich has influenced metal musicians for decades. This movement is a proper headbanger whilst showing the breadth of range possible with a string quartet. I love all of Shostakovich’s string quartets but this one is the most famous, and for good reason.

The Tiger Lillies – Gin

Camp cabaret, dark comedy and lots of accordion – what more could you want? Gin tells the tongue-in-cheek story of those that succumb to the song’s namesake drink – told with style, pomp and humour. I saw The Tiger Lillies in Edinburgh many years ago at the Fringe and it is one of my top ten live gigs to date.

Tigran Hamasyan – Levitation 21

Fast-paced cross rhythms and lush melodies on piano, drums and vocals. Armenia-based Tigran Hamasyan has played his music live around the world, including at Sage Gateshead. You can hear his Armenian roots in the music – think System Of A Down meets Muse meets Gogo Penguin.

Björk – All Is Full of Love

Classic-era Björk – a beautiful, expansive song with soaring melodies, vocals and slow, pulsing beat. Björk’s Greatest Hits album has so many bangers, but this is the front-runner for me.

Tantz – The Klezmer’s Freilach

Packed with fabulously talented musicians and formed at the Leeds College of Music, Tantz bring funky klezmer music to clubs and festivals around the UK. I remember a fantastic night of knees-up, fast-paced dancing at Cobalt Studios a few years back.

Igor Stravinsky – The Firebird Suite: Infernal Dance

When not running puppetry projects I am a composer and musician, and no one has influenced my writing as much as Igor Stravinsky. His Rite of Spring famously debuted in Paris during 1913 and caused a riot due to its discordant harmonies and use of pagan-influenced imagery. The Firebird Suite is no less fabulous.

Holy Moly And The Crackers – Salem

My favourite local band ever! I’m a little biased as the accordionist Rosie Bristow is my best friend and I also played cello on this recording as a session musician…but nonetheless they are still front-running Newcastle’s music scene and for good reason! Salem is a rich, sultry and moody anthem inspired by the famous witch trials of the song’s namesake.

Nightwish – Ghost Love Score

I thought I’d close with a full epic. This 10 minute fantasy saga from Finnish metal band Nightwish features symphonic orchestra, power guitar and Tarja Turunen’s soaring operatics. Overly dramatic but cleverly constructed – as is the entire album Once, which this track shines from.

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