Blackberry Tonic Scratch Performance
Following the discovery of the National Blackberry Collection around Deal in the Kent Messenger (07/09/1918), the simple collective act of picking blackberries reveals the resilience of Home Front communities during World War One inside and around the town’s built landscape. As the war continued, local landmarks such as the Town Hall transformed to co-exist with the various needs of a community living with war becoming first aid stations and hospitals whilst school children were tasked to pick blackberries to make jam for the trenches. Artist Colin Priest is working with Deal Town Council to create a new piece of work for Deal Town Hall assembling found narratives about the town and the National Blackberry Collection through film, found artifacts, photography, an open call for recipes and performance enlivening the significant built heritage of the area and vitality of the skyward perspective in recovery. The work titled Blackberry Tonic is part of Codename: Joined Up, a project connecting contemporary artists with museums and heritage sites through WW1-related history and managed by Dover Arts Development.
The Blackberry Tonic Scratch Performance, an atmospheric work-in-progress event will take place in the Town Hall on Friday 30th October 2015 at 7pm. Silent films made in and around the Town Hall, featuring living historians Andrew and Muriel Morgan and some readings from A Nurse at the Front: The First World War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton by the artist, Maddie4Music’s Mark Heller will accompany the evening with a selection of early 20th century piano pieces from composers such as Arthur De Greef, Federico Mompou and Melanie Helene Bonis.
Tickets (£5) will include light refreshments after and will be available from Deal Town Hall Information Desk from 21st September 2015 on a first-come-first served basis.
About Mark Heller / Maddie4Music
Maddie4Music is a music education business based in Deal and led by Maddie Cordes who is passionate about giving people of all ages the opportunity of making music and developing their skills. Maddie4 Music regularly sources and provides musicians for local creative events and projects and is pleased to involve its resident pianist Mark Heller to help fulfill this project’s objectives. Maddie is artistic director for the film gala concert as part of Sandwich Arts Week in September 2015 and was musical director for the national touring production of Get up and Tie Your Fingers at the Quarterhouse, Folkestone and Theatre Royal, Margate.
Mark Heller is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent, spending much of his spare time playing the piano. He performs regularly in the south east, both as an accompanist and as a soloist including working closely with Maddie4Music, and runs a monthly classical music concert series at the Astor Theatre in Deal.