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Castaway Goole's Sloop Group Create a New Digital Overture for Watercycle

Castaway Goole's Sloop Group, funded by Youth Music, is an accessible music group taking part in the nation-wide project 'Watercycle' - run by the world-renowned London-based Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), in partnership with the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) in York. On Saturday 15 November the Sloop Group, led by Tom Sherman, took part in their second workshop in Goole with musicians from the OAE and composer James Redwood. They met with the poet John Wedgwood Clarke, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hull, whose poem 'Ouse' has been specially written for Watercycle. The Sloop Group has created music for Clarke's poem 'Ouse', and had the opportunity to perform with him and hear about his inspirations for the poem.
During the workshop John Wedgwood Clarke read his poem to the Sloop Group musicians who improvised the sounds of the river around him. The Sloop Group will perform their new work with members of the OAE and John Wedgwood Clarke during the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's Watercycle Community Concert at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at the University of York on Saturday 13 December at 6.30pm. 

Sloop Group member Harry Murdoch said: "I really enjoyed it - the people from the orchestra are really good .... It's been good to see everything coming together. It's really created a picture in my mind and I'm looking forward to the actual event in December."

Jo Glover, Co-Director of Castaway Goole, added: "We are absolutely delighted that NCEM has offered Castaway young musicians the opportunity to work alongside OAE musicians and to take part in such an imaginative project. John Clarke's poem is wonderfully evocative of Goole's local waterways and has been an inspiration for our music."

Castaway Sing will also take part in the concert on 13 December, singing James Redwood's 'Watercycle', with other community ensembles participating in the National Centre for Early Music's project. 

The event is part of the NCEM's programme of participation in the OAE's year-long Watercycle project, which brings outstanding musical opportunities for young people, reaching 9 UK towns and cities during the year and raises money for WaterAid.  Watercycle is designed to both encourage young people to enjoy making music and to teach them about water - from raindrops to the seas, to the clouds and back again to rain.

Watercycle York is generously supported by Mayfield Valley Arts Trust, Youth Music, Arts Council England and the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.

For further information visit:   

Media Enquiries: 
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
m: 07813 796 733

Editors Notes:
▪ National Centre for Early Music has undertaken a collaborative partnership with the OAE through their work in York. The project builds on the partnership developed with the NCEM through the Anthem for A Child in 2012. Together, the partners will work with over 500 primary and secondary school children, young people with special needs, singers and teachers across York and the East Riding of Yorkshire from September to December 2014, culminating in public performances in York on 12 and 13 December. 

▪ The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Just over two decades ago, a group of London musicians took a good look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born. 
Since then, the OAE has shocked, changed and mesmerised the music world. Residencies at the Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne haven't numbed its experimentalist bent. Record deals haven't ironed out its quirks. Period-specific instruments have become just one element of its quest for authenticity. 

Today the OAE is cherished more than ever. It still pushes for change, and still stands for excellence, diversity and exploration. And over two decades on, there's still no orchestra in the world quite like it. 

▪ James Redwood composer/presenter
James Redwood is a composer and workshop leader whose practice thrives on collaboration and partnership. His work includes creative projects with young offenders and young people with special needs as well as primary and secondary school workshops exploring opera and creating original pieces of music and music theatre.

Since his first chamber opera commission for Glyndebourne Education in 2005, James has written pieces with and for young people, professional singers and instrumentalists across the country. He is involved in teacher training and has worked on several schemes mentoring emerging artists in education. 

▪ CASTAWAY-GOOLE provides music theatre opportunities for adults and young people with learning and physical disabilities and autistic spectrum conditions in Goole and the surrounding rural areas.  
It currently runs two performing theatre groups (youth and adult), a community choir - Castaway Sing, and Saturday youth music centre 'The Sloop Group', funded by Youth Music. In partnership with WEA, it also provides nine weekly workshop groups in music theatre skills ranging from drama, music and dance to sound and light technology and film. 
Castaway groups perform regularly to audiences in Goole and take shows to other venues around the East Riding and beyond. The company's work has been described as 'stunning...ground breaking' and its reputation for quality has become well established. 

Sloop is a group of young musicians with learning and physical disabilities aged 10 - 25, funded by Youth Music and run by independent charity Castaway Goole as part of their weekly programme of accessible time-based arts provision. Led by 3 professional musicians, leader Tom Sherman, the group learn instruments, sing, perform as an ensemble and create their own recorded music tracks across a range of styles. 
Castaway Sing is a 35 strong community choir who perform around Goole and the wider region for events and conferences, leader Carol Duncan.

▪ John Wedgwood Clarke is a writer and teacher of creative writing. He is currently Leverhulme Poet in Residence at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences at the University of Hull.  His work is widely published in periodicals like Poetry Review, PN Review, The Rialto, The Warwick Review, Poetry Wales, Iota, Smiths Knoll and others; he has been commended in the National Poetry Competition and shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize 2010.
He is also co-artistic director of Sea Swim and his pamphlet celebrating the life of this arts project is available from Valley Press.  His first collection, Ghost Pot, was published on 7th September, 2013.
John also undertakes public arts projects and delivers innovative creative writing workshops for schools and colleges, working in particular with museum and gallery collections and historic buildings.  He holds a DPhil in literary Modernism from the University of York.