The mare’s tale

Bowden, M. (2013) The mare’s tale. [Composition]


For actor and ensemble (clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin, viola, double bass), duration c.55 minutes. The Mare's Tale is inspired by a series of drawings by Clive Hicks-Jenkins on the theme of the Mari Lwyd. One of the oldest Welsh midwinter traditions, the Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) embodied pagan beliefs in the cult of the horse. Essentially a type of puppet made from a horse’s skull nailed atop a pole and draped in a sheet, the Mari turned out with groups of night-time mummers at the turn of the year. The score features dark variations on a traditional Welsh Mari Lwyd ballad sung by revellers demanding entrance to homes along their route. Damian Walford Davies and Mark Bowden were commissioned to write the words and music while Clive Hicks-Jenkins created the design for the piece. In the preview at Theatr Brycheiniog in September 2013, all six speaking characters were played by Eric Roberts.

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