Skip to: page content | site navigation

Alistair Anderson

Concertina Player, Northumberland, North East England

Composition List

Over the years Alistair has written many tunes which stay close to the tradition in format and scale but he has also written numerous works which, while remaining rooted within the traditions he grew up with, are of a more extended nature, these include;

Steel Skies 1982 – music for 5 piece ensemble of traditional musicians. LP Published by Topic (UK) and Flying Fish (USA) – reissued on CD Topic Records 2009

Windy Gyle 1984 - music for 5 piece ensemble of traditional musicians – commissioned by South Bank Summer Music - L.P. published Black Crow Records

The Tailors Revenge 1985 – an extended set of variations on the Devil Amang the Tailors - L.P. published Black Crow Records

The Lost Piper of Castle Bytham – song cycle for primary schools commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council

The Shipley Set – 1987 duet for Northumbrian pipes commissioned by Gateshead Libraries and Arts CD published by Black Crow Records

Gin the Gued Wife Stint 1989 - music for 4 piece ensemble of traditional musicians commissioned by Morpeth Poetry Festival and MIDNAG

Border Crossing –1992 collaborative composition with Jiri Pavlica for mixed ensemble of Northumbrian and Moravian musicians – commissioned by The British Council and Northern Arts.

Juno and the Paycock 1994 - Music for Northern Stage’s production of Juno and the Paycock

Morpeth in Flood – schools composition project with poet Katrina Porteous – supported by PRS Foundation. 1996

Blood Wedding 1997 - Music for Northern Stage’s production of Blood Wedding (joint production with Derby Playhouse) “Alistair Anderson’s music is evocative, emotional and extremely memorable.” Northern Echo

On Cheviot Hills 1999 – music for string quartet and concertina commissioned by The Lindsays with support from Yorkshire Arts. Toured by Yorkshire Arts. CD published by White Meadow Records

The Shivering Stone 1999 music for Northumbrian pipes, cello and violin CD published by White Meadow Records

Tam Linn (with poet Katrina Porteous) 2000 – full length musical theatre work expanding on the traditional ballad Tam Linn. Commissioned by Northumberland County Council and the Northumbrian Language Society.

Air Play 2003 –collaborative compositions with Annie Whitehead (jazz trombonist) Commissioned by Bath International Festival and The PRS Foundation. Toured by the Arts Council’s Contemporary Music Network. CD published by Provocateur Records.

Adzido “Arts Lab” 2004 -collaboration – folk, jazz, African drumming and dance for Adzido Dance ensemble. Supported by the Arts Council and performed at the Linbury Studio of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

The Farne Islands 2006 music for a 6 piece ensemble of traditional musicians. First Performances - Crucible Theatre Sheffield and The Sage Gateshead Hall 1 - toured by Music in the Round (Arts council funded chamber music touring circuit) CD Published 2008 White Meadow Records.

La Fura Des Baus – 2007 - music for outdoor performance by major Spanish multi-media theatre company. Commissioned by Culture 10 and The Sage Gateshead.

Clog on The Tyne - 2007 – percussive dance work with 10 piece band – for Summer Tyne Festival – commissioned by The Sage Gateshead. Extended with vocal element and performed as part of Folkworks 20 th anniversary celebrations at The Sage Gateshead 2008.

Full Circle & Look East 2008 - two pieces for concertina and ensemble of Chinese instruments in collaboration with The Singapore Chinese Orchestra. First performances in The Singapore Convention Centre and The Sage Gateshead.

The Gainsborough Packet – 2009 Collaboration with Jon Boden to compose music for a video instillation by artist Matt Stokes

Roots and Branches 2009 – music for mixed classical and folk ensemble – violin, viola, Scottish harp and concertina – commissioned and toured by Music in the Round. “I thought the concert was magical and wholly inspiring. The new works were full of character – I only wish I could hear it all again to absorb more” audience member

Handing it On 2009 – duet for violin and concertina - for Peter Cropper (ex Lindsay String Quartet) toured by Music in the Round. Handing it On was also performed at Kings Place London as part of the festival to celebrate their first year of operation and was chosen as one of 4 from 100 concerts to be available on their web site . Subsequent performances on BBC Radio 3

Its A Real Steal Reel (Dec 2009) – music for Steel Pan Band commissioned by The Sage Gateshead – first performed at The Sage Gateshead 5 th Birthday Celebrations.

The Song Thief 2010 - music for BBC Radio 4 play by Michael Chapman

Border Ridge - commissioned by The New Tyneside Orchestra as part of the 40 th birthday celebrations of this leading amateur orchestra. Border Ridge, Anderson’s first orchestral composition, had its first performance in November 2010.

Wild GeeseFlight – concertina solo - commissioned by Wooler United Reform Church Partnership for a community project on migrating wild geese. (Dec 2010)

A Lindisfarne Gospel - commissioned by Rev Paul Collins vicar of St Mary's Holy Island to help celebrate the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels for an exhibition in Durham. Six piece band - Andy May Northumbrian Pipes, Emily Ball fiddle and viola, Fiona Beyer cello, Rachel Newton Scottish Harp, and Alistair Anderson concertina. Funding from The Holy island Partnership and Arts Council England (2013) Numerous further performances including a full concert performance in Durham Cathedral in 2016

Hidden Hexham - written for the Hexham Village Band a lively community group of about 35 members - commissioned by Core Music Hexham with support from BBC performing Arts Fund (2013)- this piece has since been performed by several amateur folk ensembles and as a "scrach band" workshop at Whitby Festival and others

Panning For Gold one of 20 pieces chosen from a very strong field of 150 for The New Music Biennial for performance at London's South Bank and at the Commonwealth Games Glasgow (organised and funded by PRS Foundation) The piece features concertina, clog dancer, scratch DJ, steel pan band and solo panner. (2014)

Estuary - written for the wonderful 40 piece youth band The Northumbrian Ranters for teh Berwick Waite and Sea Festival October 2015 - further performances 2016