Notes and Editorial Reviews
Lumsdaine’s poetic collage was recorded on location at the Durham Miners’ Gala, 1971 - a large annual gathering associated with the coal mining heritage of the region, and known as The Big Meeting. This remarkable work assembles snatches of brass bands, choirs, speech and song alongside the sounds of a historic occasion.
"Big Meeting is remarkable not only as a technical feat ... I can't think of a electronic work that gives a more vivid sense of movement within a particular geography ... but also as a haunting evocation of a lost world. If the sound of the miners' hymn in Durham Cathedral doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you must be one of the Koch brothers."
The Rest is Noise
"It leaves an impression beyond the merely documentary ... Expertly re-mastered and presented to NMC's customers standards, it makes for highly affecting listening."
International Record Review
"Big Meeting is an ambitious curiosity, a lengthy radiophonic journey in which the sounds of swelling crowds, church bells and marching bands are mixed with electronic hymns and technological tweaks. The effect is like a strange, unsettling dream - alternatively nostalgic and disturbing."
"It has the lively slice-of-life atmosphere of Charles Ives ... It seems like a time capsule of a vanished world."
Works on This Recording
Big Meeting by David Lumsdaine
Period: 20th Century
Date of Recording: 1971
Venue: Durham Miners’ Gala
Big Meeting: Beginnings: Speak!
Big Meeting: Gathering, memories: Old Elvet and Racecourse
Big Meeting: The Fairground Dances
Big Meeting: The Miners' Hymn
Big Meeting: Crossing Palace Green to the Cathedral
Big Meeting: Underground: Questions
Big Meeting: Praise: People speak
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