The Rhythm of Tides

The Rhythm of Tides was first performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 1996, recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. One of Tony Haynes’s finest compositions and the Grand Union Orchestra’s most memorable CDs, it is being revived for this year’s City of London Festival, which celebrates the Portuguese-speaking world.

The Rhythm of Tides describes the rise and fall of the Portuguese Empire, the earliest empire created by a European power and the last to crumble. The backbone of this story is the glorious poetry of contemporary Portuguese writer and politician Manuel Alegre – sometimes sardonic, sometimes romantic, but always rooted in his country’s history – which provides the images that percolate the show.

That story (which stretches from the voyages of the first navigators in 1488 to the African wars of independence that provoked the Portuguese Revolution of 1974) is told by Grand Union’s ensemble of extraordinary musicians – singers from Portugal and Brazil, kora and guitar from Guinea and Mozambique, sitar, tabla and gu zheng (Chinese harp) from Asia, African and Latin-American percussion and some of Britain’s finest jazz soloists.

The Grand Union Orchestra was founded 25 years ago, bringing together musicians from many different musical cultures worldwide. Appearing in this performance are:

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