Grand Union's priority is live performance. This section has music, stories and videos from past and present shows.
From now until 2020, Grand Union’s flagship work will be Undream’d Shores. Full details can be found here.
Undream’d Shores was first performed at the Hackney Empire over the weekend of November 1st/2nd 2014, universally acclaimed as Grand Union’s best ever large-scale show. Here is the original programme for the Empire show.
The next production of Undream'd Shores was completely different, but no less extraordinary! Given two performances in the Great Hall, Leeds University on November 29th 2015, it featured the University Music School's 60-strong orchestra and 40-voice choir, 25 musicians from SAA-uk's Academy of Indian Music, and 12 Grand Union Orchestra singers and soloists.
Yvette Huddleston wrote in the Yorkshire Post:
"A unique collaboration resulting in a hugely uplifting concert... There were some incredibly moving moments in an outstanding concert that was as much as anything a timely celebration of difference through unity, and a heartening reminder of the power of music to bring people together."
(Her full review appears here, and a selection of photos here.)
This 21-minute video gives a flavour of the original show, but remember it can't possibly give the full sensation! A full-length DVD is now on sale from our shop, and eight individual songs can be accessed on our video page.
Undream’d Shores portrays migration in all its aspects – all the more immediate, exhilarating and moving because many of the performers are themselves migrants. It is based on their experience and uses their musical legacy to tell their stories.
Undream’d Shores is more than just a show however: it also features related integrated activities and events in four different strands, to appeal to all ages and communities, all driven by a common philosophy and artistic purpose. These are detailed under current projects.
Trading Roots first toured nationally in 2013-14, and remains in the repertoire as our main smaller-scale touring show. It typically combines ten performers drawn from a pool of about 15 core Grand Union musicians born and bred into many different major musical traditions worldwide. It also provides ample scope for workshops, and often participants (whether adults or young people) can be included in the performance.
Mexe Mexe - delightful dance track with irresistible rhythm by Mozambican singer/guitarist Mingo Rangel with Maria Joao Silveira (voice) from Around the World in 80 Minutes.
Trading Roots is also an umbrella for a number of shows featuring different combinations of performers. One of the most unusual - and very popular - is Bengal Tiger, Shanghai Dragon, which brings together virtuoso Chinese musicians like Zhu Xiao Meng (gu zheng) and Ruijun Hu (Chinese flutes) with Bengali (Yousuf Ali Khan - tabla/voice), Hindustani (Baluji Shrivastav - sitar/dilruba and Carnatic (Jyotsna Srikanth - violin) musicians.
Other specialist combinations similarly feature Turkish (Gunes Cerit - baglama/voice), Gypsy (Ionel Mandache - accordion), African (Mingo Rangel - guitar/voice), Caribbean (Daniel Louis - steel pan), South American (Carlos Fuentes - Latin percussion) and many other varied artists.
More information can be found here
BESIDES ALL THESE, MANY OTHER GRAND UNION shows ARE still in the repertoire, ESPECIALLY OUR RECORDED WORK, AND/OR CAN BE PERFORMED BY DIFFERENT LOCAL COMBINATIONS, AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL, INCLUDING CLASSICAL ORCHESTRAs!
If you like what you see, have a look at our upcoming live dates.