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Telling the tale of the secrets stored in the sands of the Bay

Posted by More Music on 21 February 2024

“There’s a time of day you can talk to a wave
when you live by the side of the sea
You can hear its words in the whispering spray
when you live by the side of the sea
The tales it tells of the storms and swells,
things you hear but never can tell
When you live by the side of the sea”

We left these words on the sea wall by the West End beach.

They will slowly fade over the next few weeks.

Written by Lemn Sissay just under 20 years ago they tell the tale of the secrets stored in the sands of the Bay and formed part of our commemoration for the 23 Chinese migrants who dies 20 years ago on the 5th February 2004.

We gathered on the beach around a ship shaped bonfire built by Chris Coates, Shane Johnstone and Alan Outram, we wrote wishes on lanterns, played music, drank ginger tea and wandered to the edge of the sea to think about those men and women.

400 of our community came together outside to pay our respects – it was a fitting tribute, a thoughtful moment in time.

Then into More Music to eat food cooked by the local Global Kitchen, by Sam Chan from the Hua Xian society and Guo Yue – cook and flautist from London.

The room was full and after eating people listened to a set of songs from The Long Walk – the piece that More Music created in 2007-9 in Morecambe, Liverpool, Gateshead and Hong Kong.

The songs tell the story of the migrants leaving home, taking a perilous journey, arriving with nothing, working and then dying in the cold waters and winds of the Bay. 25 musicians on stage including the Long Walk Chinese Ensemble, a string section, brass and reeds, backline, soloists and choir and featuring the powerful and emotive sound of Guo Yue’s flute.

The music was rich, funky, sad, tuneful, truthful with power.

The moon laughs the clouds cry
And a seagull screams at the night’s sky
And the sad sea sighs – goodbye.

At the end I invited everyone to meet again in 10 years – it’s in my diary already!
2034 – what will the world be like then?

Pete Moser – Musical Director




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