Midlothian musician releases album celebrating 40th anniversary of miners' strike

Martin Green with members of Whitburn Band. Picture: Sandy Butler.Martin Green with members of Whitburn Band. Picture: Sandy Butler.
Martin Green with members of Whitburn Band. Picture: Sandy Butler. | Sandy Butler
Live show with Whitburn Band at Celtic Connections to mark release of Split the Air

Midlothian musician Martin Green is set to release a new album celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1984/85 miners' strike.

Split the Air is described as the culmination of the Ivor Novello Award-winning composer’s odyssey into the world of brass bands.

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And there is a live show at Glasgow's Tramway theatre on Saturday February 3 - the day of the album's release - as part of the Celtic Connections festival. It will bring together music from the Whitburn Band, featuring former BBC Young Musician of the Year, Sheona White, on tenor horn, with dramatic narration directed by the National Theatre's Tom Morris.

Martin Green, best known as the accordionist in the folk trio Lau, immersed himself in the world of brass banding for years after attending Brass in the Park at the Scotland's National Mining Museum in Newtongrange.

He was inspired by the history and the culture of brass band music, the evocative sound of the bands and the crucial role of the music in the community. He has already made a three-part documentary for Radio 4 and written an audio play based on his explorations.

He said: “The stories that I collected when I was making the radio documentary really stayed with me: they felt so connected to the music that the natural thing was to make a live presentation of both. The brass band is, of course, best experienced in the flesh, and these stories really jump to life with the band playing live behind them”.

Split the Air was recorded in Manchester by a "superband" of players from across the UK.

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