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Vespertine - The Silk Roads

Composer David Lancaster
The National Centre for Early Music is delighted to be involved in the city-wide Vespertine project - a new initiative offering a series of free, twilight events, happenings and performances, hosted in some of York's most intriguing and beautiful spaces and celebrating the cultural diversity in the City.

'The Silk Roads' is a FREE family friendly interactive event, which takes place on Wednesday 11 November between 4.30pm and 7.30pm and is a partnership between music and art students at York St John University and the NCEM. 

It celebrates the cultural diversity of the businesses along two of York's oldest streets - Walmgate and Fossgate. 'The Silk Roads' takes its name from the ancient trade routes that transported goods and the transmission of culture between East and West for over 1000 years. Passersby on the night have the opportunity to journey along the street and will be entertained with music and art inspired by the different cultures now based within businesses in these streets. 

The starting point for this event the Vespertine tent outside St Crux Church (at the top of Fossgate). From 4.30pm onwards you will be able to pick up a copy of a trail map, which will tell you where to do to discover the hidden treasures of the streets. The event starts at the top of Fossgate with an art installation in Stonebow House by York St John students. From here, you will be guided along Fossgate and Walmgate, stopping along the way to hear improvising musicians and see print artists at work - all inspired by the variety of different cultures hosted in the streets. 

The finale will take place at the NCEM, the audience will be invited to place the silk strips they have collected along a trail, at the NCEM to form part of a 'Silk Road'.  Between 6.00pm and 7.00pm, Lewis Thresh, who is currently studying for a MEng in Electronic Engineering at the University of York, will be exploring the voices of Fossgate and Walmgate, plus there will be delicious food supplied by Spring Espresso, Bicis Y Mas and hot chocolate! The Yorkshire Film Archive will also be showing a mini cinema silent film looking at the area and how it has changed over the years. 

From 7.00pm to 7.30pm there will be a performance by the York-based group, The Bramble Napskins, of a newly written piece, 'Vespertine', by local composer David Lancaster. The piece, in three movements, takes its inspiration from John Dowland's Lute Songs, and the group will improvise around the themes of darkness and night.

We hope you will be able to join us and look forward to celebrating with you at the NCEM.  For more information visit about the Vespertine project click here