Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Festival of Words and Music ; Literature

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Festival of Words and Music ; Literature

Article excerpt

IT'S almost a century since writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz came together with composer Igor Stravinsky and painter Rene Auverjonois to create The Soldier's Tale - an artistic work inspired by a Russian folk tale in which a soldier trades his violin with the Devil for wealth.

Literature and composition have long been bedfellows, but one event celebrating that with a good injection of Mancunian prowess is the Music For Words Festival - a collaboration between the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and contemporary music group Psappha - formed in 1991 by former RNCM students.

On February 4, Psappha presents Stravinsky and Ramuz's Soldier's Tale - narrated by Richard Suart and illustrated live using line drawing and Japanese kamishibai paper theatre by Chris Glynn. But they also premiere a piece by Leo Geyer inspired by a Burgess poem, Words Getting In The Way, set to Latin American and Cuban dance rhythms.

Tim Williams, artistic director of Psappha, explains: "The festival originated in the idea that it would be good if we did something that connected with the words of Burgess - if the stimulus for the music came from the words. …

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