Music

Grand Union has been recording its work for the last 25 years. This selection of tracks displays the amazing musical range and distinctive sound of the Grand Union Orchestra. Most have been drawn from our published CDs, themselves largely compiled (with permission) from our BBC Radio 3 live broadcasts.

- AUDIO TRACKS BELOW, VIDEO HERE -

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For more details on the tracks featured below, click the SoundCloud logo.
For more of our music visit our Soundcloud and YouTube channel.
For a selection of video clips, go to our Video page.

Grand Union Orchestra shows are built around a range of songs in different languages, and glorious voices to perform them...



1. High energy reggae alternating with samba with guttural baritone sax solo


2. Soulful Portuguese love-song reminiscent of fado


3. Setting of the great Biblical lament of an exiled people with an impassioned trombone solo


4. Up-tempo Bengali song with brilliant flute and tabla


5. Haunting song evoking travel along the ancient Great Silk Road

...sometimes telling stories that are chillingly contemporary...



6. Powerful, highly dramatic song, featuring Bengali singers and an incandescent baritone sax solo


7. Satirical view of global corporate culture with rich orchestration and blistering jazz solos


8. Energetic song with lyrical interludes, describing life on the relentless motor-car production line

...or combined to create spine-tingling vocal ensembles...



9. Fragmented voices floating over panpipes, vibraphone, steel pan and bells


10. Nostalgic lament for three voices, giving way to defiant alto sax and big brass


11. Beautiful setting of poem by the Portuguese writer Manual Alegre, duet with flugelhorn solo


12. A trio of women’s voices blended with exquisite instrumental backings

with glorious brass, saxes and percussion...



13. Call and response brass, saxes and drums based on a Yoruba chant


14. Big band take on the popular dhol rhythm powered by drums and bass guitar


15. High octane electric guitar and spine-tingling vocals over Indian rag-based harmony.

...featuring great jazz soloists in unusual musical structures...



16. Brass ensemble based on West African rhythms with 2 contrasting trumpet soloists


17. Two fiery jazz soloists, trumpet and alto, in dramatic conflict with powerful big band backing riffs


18. Four great jazz soloists go head to head, spurred on by powerful big band riffs

...and a radical approach to big band writing...



19. Based on the Indian classic Rag Marva and 12-beat time-cycle Ektal


20. Implacable drums and preachy trombone driving the iconic song of the French Revolution

...showcasing less familiar instruments from around the world...



21. Gu zheng (Chinese harp) in a richly harmonised Chinese folk-song


22. Dramatic version of folk song, featuring Chinese instruments, rhythm section and jazz solos


23. Sitar and soprano saxophone freely intertwined in 7-beat Indo-jazz workout


24. Kora, djembe and voice lead in a typical Mandinga tune, with punchy brass riffs


25. A gentler take on West African guitar, kora and drum patterns for brass and saxes


26. Turkish baglama (saz), Anatolian vocal and plangent flugelhorn solo



The Grand Union Orchestra's music is written and arranged by Tony Haynes, with lyrics written by Valerie Bloom (1), Manuel Alegre (2,11), Masud Ahamed (4,6,15), David Bradford (5,8), Colin Sell (7), Sara Clifford (6,12,15) and from traditional sources (3,10,19,21).

Many of the tracks above are described and analysed, with notated examples and full scores, by Tony Haynes on his monthly composition blog

www.tonyhaynesmusic.wordpress.com

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