The Ciderhouse Rebellion, the “free-flowing, ambitious and fiercely creative” (The Strad) folk-improv duo, have deep roots in traditional and classical music of all forms, and in particular the music of the North of England.
Whilst these roots often emerge throughout their improvised-repertoire, new tune ‘The Whitby Rose’, released on April 9th, has a particularly poignant link to the trades and traditions of the Yorkshire coast.
Throughout 2020 Adam and Murray kept themselves busy with a startling variety of projects – radio shows, live broadcasts, recording improvised music down the landline telephone, and releasing two full length albums – and for one YouTube broadcast Adam put together some footage his grandfather had filmed of a boat being constructed for the Whitby fishing company he once partly-owned.
The footage was accompanied by an audio recording of Adam’s great-grandmother on her 100th birthday, but the images so connected with his family’s past resonated with Adam and, as is often the case, a tune began to form in his mind.
In Adam’s own words:
“the melody felt gentle and somehow old already and in some way linked to the old film. We recorded it as the basis for one of our improvisations the next week as one of the many tunes we released over the period – four a week!”
Initially released as part of the ‘InCider Sessions’ YouTube series, when it came to compiling compositions for an often-requested tune book (available from https://theciderhouserebellion.com/shop/) that ‘gentle and somehow old’ melody was one that both Adam and Murray wanted to include.
Revisiting the old footage that had sparked the melody, a title emerged: The Whitby Rose.
“Grandpa had two boats, the Whitby Rose and the Stakesby Rose. The boat being built in the film is the Stakesby Rose, but we see my young and radiant looking mother, a Whitby Rose if ever there was one, launching the boat and so the title became obvious.”
Freshly accompanied by the archive footage, The Whitby Rose becomes more evocative and moving; tender and wrought through with authentic nostalgia without resorting to sentimentality: like all of The Ciderhouse Rebellion’s music it takes you on “a musical journey that will touch every conceivable human emotion” (FATEA).
That a piece of music created in the moment, without planning or preparation, could match the emotions and pathos of this footage so perfectly is no mere coincidence: Murray and Adam’s ability to conjure magic seemingly from thin air is testament to the deep well of musical thought and experience that these masterful musicians can draw upon.
As Folk Radio UK have said of the duo “their musical relationship is deep and intuitive and their confidence in performing improvised music is utterly sound” – experience this relationship yourself by watching the video for The Whitby Rose now, and by listening to The Ciderhouse Rebellion’s enchanting music across all digital and streaming stores.