Christopher Simpson, known for his acting work in Brick Lane, Spooks and White Teeth was in residence with Metal in 2008. Metal provided him with the time and space to bring coherence to a collection of songs, written by him over a number of years in response to the loss of his mother, into a song cycle entitled, ‘Very Present Tense’.
Charting the passage of a grief it is a testament of love and a statement of becoming. Referencing musical idioms like blues and Rwandan folk, acknowledging his Irish and Rwandan musical forbears, the songs were arranged in collaboration with composer, Tom Havelock to create an intimate harmonic landscape of loss, love and hope.
Christopher premiered the work with an ensemble of musicians, gathered from across Liverpool, comprising piano, string quartet, double bass, trumpet and saxophone in a tender and inspirational performance at Edge Hill Station.
He performed the work a second time with Metal in September 2009 at Village Green, this time working with a group of musicians from Southend. He is currently working on a recording of the work.