Commissioned by the London Word Festival to compose a new soundtrack for the poet Chris McCabe's "play of voices" drifting around the starting point of the history of London's docklands. Composed in tandem with the development of the spoken word performance, the resultant musical score was played live by 15 musicians (7 cellists, 4 violinists, 2 viola players, a guitarist and a harmonium player) as part of the debut performance of 'Shad Thames, Broken Wharf' at Jamboree in Limehouse in 2010.
"Shad Thames, Broken Wharf is a play of voices that spans centuries of changes across the Docklands, allowing past ghosts to be heard above the white noise of the polemical present.
Set in a pub that has stood on the site since the sixteenth century, we eavesdrop on a conversation between three characters – Echo, a middle-aged woman who has lived her life in the area; Blaise, a northerner who finds resonances with the more familiar docks at Liverpool; and the gregarious landlord, a Londoner with ‘the knowledge’. Breaking into the dialogue, The Restructure is a sinister, all-knowing Public Service Announcement with ‘advice’ to share with anyone who’ll listen…"
Watch a trailer featuring one of the pieces - 'Ghosts of Industry' - below.