By Leah Conway –
This year INTERWOVEN has organised a special performance of a new music commission.
The commissioned song, Round and Around: The Story of Shoddy in Song, has been written especially to celebrate the rich textile heritage of North Kirklees.
Ex-Chumbawamba musician, Boff Whalley, wrote the song, which was inspired by the local people’s and Qawwali music and rhythms.
Round and Around: The Story of Shoddy in Song will premiere with a performance by The INTERWOVEN Ensemble on Friday 6 May at Dewsbury Minster.
The ensemble includes tabla and harmonium, brass from Hanson Arts, and folk singers Ruth and Sadie Price.
Local poet, Ahmad Lunat, will join them to read a new piece of poetry, which has been inspired by the collection of local stories about the Textile industry.
The premiere will also see a performance from Lisa Heywood and Priya Sundar, who will perform Morris-Natyam dancing – a fusion of English Morris dance and the Bharatanatyam dance of southern Indi. Finally, Maddie Morris, a local contemporary folk singer and the winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2019, will join the live performance.
Along with the live performance on the 6 May, various events are running from 30 April to 15 May at a pop-up event space in Dewsbury Town Centre – 17 Foundry Street. The pop-up space includes a new exhibition exploring the shoddy and mungo industry and inspired by stories collected for the project, as well as a programme of free talks and workshops on dance, craft, music and poetry.
“Totally unique to Kirklees”
Nat Walton, WOVEN Festival Curator, added, “INTERWOVEN is totally unique to Kirklees and is a modern-day celebration of the areas rich, textile heritage and our diverse cultural landscape.
“The project has really allowed communities to come together following the COVID-19 pandemic and enabled us to share some of the amazing stories from local people through mediums such as music, performance and storytelling.”
Colin Parr, Strategic Director for Environment and Climate Change said: “I am very proud that Kirklees Council is able to fund the Woven project, which showcases the creativity and diversity of our textile heritage in such an innovative and inclusive way. Kirklees is home to The Technical Textiles Research Centre at the University of Huddersfield which aims to re-establish the town and region as a world leader in textiles by harnessing the newest technology and manufacturing techniques.
“So, while celebrating the fact that Textiles are very much a part of our past, where many local people were employed in the industry, it’s important to remember that it’s also part of our present and future and ‘WOVEN in Kirklees’ does a fantastic job of highlighting innovation in textiles across Kirklees.”