Attendees of a Newcastle day centre for older people with care and housing needs are working with an international harpist to produce original music and creative writing which will be showcased this week at a public event.
People who attend the St Anthony’s Day Centre in Walker are writing and recording music and words on the theme of ‘merriment’, inspired by a workshop led by artist and musician Irantzu Agirre.
Their work will form part of a performance in Newcastle on Thursday evening, organised by Newcastle-based Skimstone Arts.
Claire Webster Saaremets, Artistic Director of Skimstone Arts, explained: “We will be bringing the staff and participants from St Anthony’s together with Irantzu, who is originally from the Basque region and is a multi-award winning musician. She will be performing harp music and working with participants to inspire everyone to put together their own writing and music on the theme of ‘merriment’.”
The work will be incorporated into a live performance by Irantzu and other musicians from Skimstone Arts, which will be premiered at a free event on Thursday evening, which is being held to celebrate 10 years of Skimstone Arts.
Claire Webster Saaremets added: “This new creative writing produced by people at the St Anthony’s Day Centre will be an important part of our celebration on Thursday, as we mark 10 years of creating collaborative music, theatre and art with diverse communities and artists of all ages and backgrounds.”
One of the participants from St Anthony’s Day Centre is Ron Leighton, a former guitarist who produced creative writing and played the harmonica for Waiting, an original film and soundtrack created with Claire for a show at Alphabetti Theatre in March 2018. Ron said: “It was great, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it.”
Skimstone Arts creates music, film and art and collaborates with artists, researchers and members of the local community. The organisation marks its 10th anniversary this summer with a free event at Newcastle’s B&D Studios on Thursday 28 June, from 6pm to 9pm.
As well as the performance, the evening will include short film screenings and performances by members of the Skimstone Arts Young Artists Collective – a group of young artists who explore different artforms including photography, painting, music and film.