The Rhythm of Tides

Tuesday 29 June at 8pm
The Great Hall, St Bartholomew's Hospital
As part of the City of London Festival

Music composed and directed by Tony Haynes
Lyrics by Manuel Alegre and David Bradford

The Rhythm of Tides was first performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 1996, recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. One of Tony Haynes’s finest compositions and the Grand Union Orchestra’s most memorable CDs, it is being revived for this year’s City of London Festival, which celebrates the Portuguese-speaking world.

The Rhythm of Tides describes the rise and fall of the Portuguese Empire, the earliest empire created by a European power and the last to crumble. The backbone of this story is the glorious poetry of contemporary Portuguese writer and politician Manuel Alegre – sometimes sardonic, sometimes romantic, but always rooted in his country’s history – which provides the images that percolate the show.

That story (which stretches from the voyages of the first navigators in 1488 to the African wars of independence that provoked the Portuguese Revolution of 1974) is told by Grand Union’s ensemble of extraordinary musicians – singers from Portugal and Brazil, kora and guitar from Guinea and Mozambique, sitar, tabla and gu zheng (Chinese harp) from Asia, African and Latin-American percussion and some of Britain’s finest jazz soloists.

The Grand Union Orchestra was founded 25 years ago, bringing together musicians from many different musical cultures worldwide. Appearing in this performance are:

  • Alison Crookendale (England) – voice
  • Victoria Couper (England/ Portugal) – voice
  • Richard Scott (England) – voice, tenor saxophone, flute
  • Xavier Osmir (Brazil) – voice, Latin percussion
  • Shanti Paul Jayasinha (Sri Lanka/Scotland) – trumpet, flugelhorn, cello
  • Claude Deppa (South Africa) – trumpet, flugelhorn, African drums
  • Chris Biscoe (England) – soprano & alto saxophones, alto clarinet, piccolo
  • Louise Elliott (Australia) – tenor saxophone, flute
  • Tim Smart (England) – trombone, dijeridu
  • Ros Davies (Wales) – trombone, flute, voice
  • Tony Haynes (England) – trombone, piano
  • Sadjo Djolô (Guinea-Bissau) – kora, voice
  • Zhu Xiao Meng (China) – gu zheng (Chinese harp)
  • Baluji Shrivastav (India) – sitar, tabla, dholak, tanpura
  • Mingo Rangel (Mozambique) – Spanish guitar, voice
  • Gerry Hunt (England) – 12-string guitar, soprano & baritone saxophones
  • Andres Lafone (Uruguay) – bass guitar
  • Paul Clarvis (England) – drums
Grand Union main image Quote from The Scotsman

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Supported by the European Cultural Foundation
For regular updates of Gathering, Travelling – Grand Union’s ECF-funded project in collaboration with partners in Portugal and France – please click here.
Supported by the Arts Council England
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