Hark! The sound of Christmas

First published: Tuesday 15 Dec 2020

A celebration of Christmas music, winter, cosy nights and spoken word.

Hark! is traditionally a celebration of music inspired by literature – and we think no holiday embodies that concept like Christmas.

Hark! is hosted by Fran Harvey, and features beautiful live music performed by a variety of regional and national artists, readings from A Christmas Carol and festive poems, and specially commissioned work from regional artists.

This event is accompanied by a 'gig in a box' featuring a programme with original linocut artwork from Darlington artist The Littlest Falcon and lyrics so audience members can sing along, as well as a mince pie or piece of Christmas cake, and a few other goodies.

The Gig in a Box is free to all, subject to availability. Tracks will create and deliver these boxes to audience members, as well as have some stock available for collection from the library. We are also reaching out to organisations such as Food For Thought to distribute some of the boxes to the elderly, socially isolated and people on lower incomes.

Featuring performances from:

The Bookshop Band is internationally renowned folk duo Ben Please and Beth Porter. Based out of Mr B’s Bookshop in Bath, the Bookshop Band writes and performs enchanting music inspired by books by hundreds of authors from Shakespeare to Philip Pullman.

They have released 13 studio albums featuring many of the authors they have worked with, and are usually found performing in bookshops. For HARK! they will be performing a specially selected set of songs based on festive and wintery tales, as well as a couple of Christmas classics.

Benjamin Amos, of North Eastern super-band Nel Unlit, graces us with tunes from his latest solo album, Christmas folk feast Joy. Ben performs three beautifully arranged Christmas songs for us, filmed in some very special locations.

Songstress Oui Bee returns exclusively for HARK!. After a hiatus, local singer-songwriter Oui Bee is bringing her hauntingly beautiful vocals back to celebrate Christmas.

The evening also includes specially commissioned work from local writer performance artist Lisette Auton, animation from artist Andrew McAdam, as well as readings of festive poems and A Christmas Carol.

HARK! Organiser Sarah Wilson of Tracks Darlington says: ‘It’s great to have been given this opportunity to create something really magical and original for this special time of year, especially with 2020 having been such a tricky time for people. It’s great to have the opportunity to work with local artists to create something for everyone to enjoy.’

Tracks thanks Creative Darlington, who are supporting the cost of the artists’ commissions, and to Darlington Borough Council for funding the event.

All beaming directly into your home via the magic of the internet, and hosted from the majestic Crown Street Library.

We advise that this is suitable for ages 13+ | Live stream starts 7pm on Facebook and YouTube for rree to view – though a donation link will be available.

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