Kevin Malone has been commissioned through Arts Council England Grants for the Arts to compose a violin concerto and an overture for The Orchestra of Opera North and its Associate Leader violinist Andy Long, and with conductor Rob Guy.
The concerto, A Day in the Life for violin and orchestra, will follow the hour-by-hour struggle of the daily life of a 19th century indentured child worker in Northern textile mills, incorporating the sounds and rhythms of current mill machinery.
The overture, A Peterloo Parade, will be based on contemporary and historical chants heard at rallies, especially those at the St Peter’s Square, Manchester rally and massacre (“Peterloo”) of 1819.
A third piece by Malone will be My Mill Life, a work for solo violin and pre-recorded monologues by current and former mill workers in Leeds and Bradford. The violin and the voices will mimic each other and the sounds of their work environments in a light-hearted mash-up of mill employment, juke-box style.
The premieres will take place in Morley Town Hall, Leeds on 3 May 2019, with further performances on 4, 5, 11 and 25 May in the Leeds-Bradford area before the work sets sail for the USA and Ukraine.
Open-ended musical events are also planned in museums and galleries, and with additional support from Heritage Schools Historic England, workshops will be devised to involve school children to understand and participate in their communities’ heritage through musical arts.
The concerto is the brainchild of Andy Long, who has recorded two works by Malone: The concerto Eighteen Minutes which was chosen by Naxos as a Top 20 Must-Listen work in September 2016 out of their catalogue of 2 million tracks, and the string quartet Aims, Goals, Targets and Objectives based on Haydn’s op. 74, no. 3.
Malone has begun interviewing textile factory workers after extensive research into historic mill life. He says,
To quote historic England expert John Waller, this will be a concerto about the real Oliver Twist. And the Peterloo overture will also be the real voice of the people, both then and now, demanding change.
Malone’s Angels and Fireflies– a tone poem for flute and strings about the events of 9/11 – will be performed on 3 October at the International Kiev Festival. And during this 60th birthday year, the University of Manchester will perform numerous works throughout the season, including Postcards from St Nick, Godzilla,Temptation Music, Angels and Fireflies, Count Me In, Nursery Rhymes Strong and Stable and the large-scale cantata Creations: Story-Songs for Choir and Orchestra.
His protest piano work The People Protesting Drum Out Bigly Covfefe was recorded by Adam Swayne on the Coviello label for release in November.Kevin Malone Profile & Works