Ghost Stories – A Night Opera, is taking place on Thursday 16th July at St Luke’s, the bombed-out church at the top of Bold Street.
It’s described as a haunting and beautiful sound and visual experience, made all the more atmospheric by the 9pm sunset starting time.
‘Ghost Stories – A Night Opera’ – is a classical composition written by Liverpool musician and composer Neil Campbell. Since its release in October 2008 on CD simply titled ‘Ghost Stories’, it has received unanimous acclaim from both the UK and International music critics. The subtitle ‘A Night Opera’ was added to the title following collaboration with Bill Elms who will work with Neil to stage performances of the piece across the region. It is also being performed as part of the Wirral International Guitar Festival in November at Birkenhead Priory. Plans are being made to tour ‘Ghost Stories – A Night Opera’ to other cities and festivals across the UK and abroad in 2010.
‘Ghost Stories – A Night Opera’ was written and recorded by Neil Campbell over 2007/08. It started life as a number of short sketches for classical guitar which Neil was interested in enhancing through the use of electronics (in collaboration with electronic musician Michael Beiert). After working with wordless vocals on The Neil Campbell Collective’s ‘Particle Theory’ album (produced concurrently with ‘Ghost Stories’ and involving soprano Anne Taft as a guest vocalist) Anne was invited to sing on some of the ‘Ghost Stories’ pieces. The various short movements were then developed into a coherent suite of music segued together by an electronic soundscape built by Michael Beiert using samples of Anne Taft’s voice.
Compositionally ‘Ghost Stories’ draws on French impressionistic music such as Debussy and Satie, ambient music such as that of Harold Budd or Brian Eno, as well as some jazz (especially Pat Metheny) and progressive rock (particularly Steve Hackett). The music is delicate, shadowy, slow, atmospheric and elegiac.
Bill Elms (Director of Bill Elms Associates) said “I instantly fell in love with the piece late last year and approached Neil to work on this project, which is to be my first producer role. It’s a world-class composition and Neil is an incredibly talented local composer. I want the live performances to be an overall experience for the ticket holder, the venues are as important as the piece itself, St. Luke’s will be a stunning venue on a summers evening ”.
Since the recording has been released, the performance aspect of the piece has taken on a life of its own and the aim is now to perform it in interesting architectural locations with the music surrounding the audience (and often presented with visuals) to enhance and build upon the experience. The aim of ‘Ghost Stories’ – as a recording and a live piece – is to completely immerse the audience in the experience.
The St. Luke’s performance will begin at sunset on the evening of Thursday 16th July, doors will open at 9pm prompt and an atmospheric sound installation will build up to the performance which will begin at 9.32pm.
St Luke’s (Bombed-Out) Church Leece Street, Liverpool, L1 2RT
Thursday 16th July 2009 – Doors: 9pm prompt
Tickets £12, Concessions £10
Box Office: 0151 709 4988 or in person at the Unity Theatre, Hope Place, Liverpool. Tickets on sale to 08 card holders from Friday 22nd May and then on general sale from Wednesday 27th May.
Ghost Stories will also be performed in November 2009 in Birkenhead Priory as parof the Wirral International Guitar Festival. Tickets go on sale soon.
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