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Memories of the Mayflower

TunedIn London presents Memories of the Mayflower, a Song Cycle by One Voice, One Cello & A Mad Belgian.

The duo are Englishman Rupert Gillett & Belgian Jennifer El Gammal, armed with only a cello, a soprano sax and an occasional melodeon.  They are folk singers, jazz improvisers, chamber musicians and storytellers, and their live performances are known for their grace, wit and virtuosity. 

The concert is to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.  It is the culmination of a year’s work in cooperation with local historian Graham Taylor.  The church is the final resting place of Master Christopher Jones, Captain of the Mayflower, and the ship itself was berthed a few steps away on the river Thames.

Mid-July four hundred (and one!) years ago, the Mayflower Ship set out to sail the Atlantic. The voyagers, both religious separatists and fairer-fortune seekers, did not reach land until over nine weeks later. The vessel’s master and crew were Rotherhithe men. This concert of new music sets the scene of those migrating adventurers, whose arrival on American shores had such an impact on the indigenous people already there and on those who were to follow.
On sale will be the duo’s recently released CD of the live performance of the premiere last October. On sale too will be the last few copies of the beautiful book that features historical context, quotes, original illustrations and lyrics.

The first half of the concert is the duo’s song cycle “Memories of the Mayflower”. It tells the story of the famous “Pilgrim Fathers”, persecuted for their religion in Elizabethan England, who voyaged across the Atlantic to seek better lives.  Upon arrival, almost half of the company died from disease and harsh conditions.  Narration of the story itself is provided by the renowned American actor Nathan Osgood, who has played in numerous films, TV productions, theatre and is a regular fixture on BBC audio dramas.

The second half of the concert tells a number of “short tales” of a different nature, including a romantic encounter by an ice cream van,  humanoid robots in the workplace, and an unlikely Sherlock Holmes mystery.   All told with lightness, a little humour and a lot of heart.

St. Mary’s Church, St. Marychurch Street, Rotherhithe, SE16 4NJ. Date: 16th July. Time: 7.45pm. 


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