The third album from trio Words of a Fiddler’s Daughter and sound track to the new ‘folk ballet’ The Tears of Jenny Greenteeth.
The words of storyteller/poet Jessie Summerhayes combine, in the moment, with the spontanous music of The Ciderhouse Rebellion – Adam Summerhayes (fiddle) and Murray Grainger (accordion).
The Tears of Jenny Greenteeth is an adaptation of the traditional folk tale Jenny Greenteeth, written and narrated by poet Jessie Summerhayes (as heard on BBC Radio 4’s Power Lines). It is a tale from a time younger than ours, where love and forgiveness overcome fear, sadness and greed; where nature triumphs over the poison of industry.
A Miller’s daughter is swept away in the mill race, her parents left transformed by grief. The people of Greenwater live in fear as their children disappear – suspecting they are being taken and drowned by the Miller – Jenny – whilst her devastated husband creates an industrial complex and an army of workers, his skills as a magical toymaker transformed to pursue wealth. Many in the town benefit from the riches, but the society becomes divided and a social wasteland mirrors the industrial one. An unexpected return precipitates change – but it’s a race between disaster and redemption.
The narrative was written by Jessie for a collaborative live production with Ballet Folk. In the resultant show she shares the stage with the musicians (Murray and Adam) and six dancers. All nine interact throughout, transporting the audience to the valley of Greenwater in order to witness the unfolding of a dark yet triumphant story. The production is originally the brainchild of Ballet Folk UK founder and pioneering Director/Choreographer Deborah Norris and co-produced by Katie Whitehouse, From The Whitehouse. So far performed live at Cambridge Folk Festival, Purbeck Valley Folk Festival and Summer By The River Festival, with more shows to be announced. Both “mesmerising and hypnotic” [Songlines] Murray and “intoxicating – virtuoso fiddle player” [The Times] Adam wondered how this would work, being used to creating their music, whether live or recorded, on the spot. Recent experience writing for a BBC Radio 4 play Lud-In-The-Mist gave them the confidence to create a skeletal structure, allowing them to improvise within sections of the story, and to respond to themes laid out by Jessie’s writing: “I wrote the poem in collaboration with Deborah Norris and talking to the team,” says Jessie. “It’s a huge narrative – 23 pages – drawing on fundamental human concerns such as the environment, concerns about over industrialisation and the flow of the river. The story has a traditional feel but is very relevant to current times.” The location for the story was inspired by Stott Park Mill and the surrounding Lake District and the underlying narrative is that of conservation and protection of the riverways of Britain.
A tale by poet/storyteller/narrator Jessie Summerhayes
Music by Adam Summerhayes – violin and Murray Grainger – accordion
created with Deborah Norris and Ballet Folk
Recorded, produced and mixed by Murray Grainger UNDER THE EAVES UTE 006 Mastered by Jon Astley. Artwork by Anna Smith
© and ℗ 2022 Adam Summerhayes, Jessie Summerhayes & Murray Grainger