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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Journey Through Oceans, Music and Myth

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Musicians and long-time collaborators Renzo Spiteri and Ben Murray present FRAM, a new performance of songs, spoken word and soundscapes commissioned on occasion of The Tall Ships Races (Lerwick) programme of events.

This duo’s dynamic music partnership has seen them perform together in various theatres in Europe, including Teatro Politeama Viareggio (Italy) as part of the EU’s Year for Intercultural Dialogue, The Manoel Theatre (Malta’s national theatre), and Ludwig Forum Aachen (Germany).

FRAM (Shetland dialect word meaning far off, out to sea) takes its audiences on an immersive journey using tales, myths and reflections about the sea, about sailing and about humankind’s relationship with the waters that surround us.

A phenomenon that has inspired so many artistic expressions, the sea takes centre stage in this live performance that merges Renzo’s use of percussion, field recordings and evocative effects with Ben’s voice, piano and accordion.

Old sea songs, well-known writings and new compositions are complemented with projected images that are being designed by Renzo purposely for this new work.

Multi-percussion player, arts collaborator, improviser, composer and multi-media artist Renzo Spiteri has been active on the international arts circuit for more than thirty years, collaborating and leading his own projects.

Renzo’s work over the past two decades has focused on merging improvisation, electronics and field recordings within his artistic collaborations with musicians, contemporary dance choreographers, visual artists, theatre directors, spoken word artists and filmmakers.

The diversity within Renzo’s artistic spectrum has taken him to over thirty countries.  

Originally from the Mediterranean island of Malta, Renzo’s use of percussion is influenced by the Mediterranean, North African and Eastern cultures while his immersive sonic textures draw from Nordic minimalism.

His engagement with natural phenomena, with special emphasis on the sea, coastlines, water and the natural world are a main source of inspiration while the combination of field recordings, percussion and electronics shape most of his work.

Based in Newcastle, singer/songwriter, composer, accordion player and pianist Ben Murray has released three albums with the band TARRAS, and has worked extensively in the industry, recording and touring with artists including Guo Yue, Seth Lakeman, The Imagined Village and Renzo Spiteri.

Working with producer Richard Evans, Ben has been involved in film and TV projects and is a member of “Walking with ghosts” alongside David Rhodes, Ged Lynch and Jackie Oates.

Ben spent 2013 performing as “The Songman“ in the National Theatre’s production of Warhorse and in the final West End cast of Warhorse in 2016.

Ben recently performed for the third time as The Songman in the International tour of Warhorse, and he continues to perform with Michael Morpurgo across the country at various festivals and literary events.

Currently Ben is performing in a play he has written with poet and writer Tom Pickard called “Vagaband”, showing at the Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

FRAM will be performed daily between the 26th and 29th of July at the auditorium in Mareel between 2pm and 3pm. 

Entry to the event is free and open to people of all ages.

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