On Drover Tracks

A new Gael Music commissioned work by Dublin based composer Anna Rice will be performed at 12 venues, schools and music centres in May. Funded by West Berks Enjoy and Arts Council England the project also involves a number of local schools and our own folk academy students. Performances also at Music Centres in Wantage and Newbury is partnership with the Berks and Oxon music education hubs.

May 21   Wyeside AC Wales 01982 552555

May 23   Brewery AC Cirencester 01285 657181

May 24   Newbury Corn Exchange 0845 5218 218

May 25   Cornerstone AC Didcot 01235 515144

May 26   Swindon AC 01793 614837

May 27   Chippenham Folk Festival 01249 657190

May 28   Cheltenham Town Hall 0844 576 2210



The many drove roads or tracks set deeply into the Wiltshire, West Berks and Oxfordshire countryside represent historical and cultural exchange between urban and rural, rich and poor, literate and aural traditions. Luke Daniels (melodeon) and John Dipper (fiddle) are joined by musicians from Ireland, Wales and England to create 12 new contemporary folk songs with composer Anna Rice, that explore drovers and droving linked by a theme and narrative of the last ever large-scale cattle drove across England in 1870.

The exact ages of most routes are unknown but what is certain is that they link modern day rural communities, both directly and to a unique shared past. What kind of relationships did they forge with local communities, generations of whom supported them along their journey? Do evidence of such links still exist today? And what of the final drovers who witnessed the introduction of the railways and the coming of an age that would ultimately put an end to their unique way of life Since much of the livestock driven along these routes originated in Ireland, Gael Music commissioned Dublin based Anna Rice to compose a suite of new folk songs. Performers Ceri Rhys Matthews (Pibgorn & Flute), Ceri Owen Jones (Welsh Single Harp), Matheu Watson from the Scottish Highlands on guitar and fiddle and members of Southern Sinfonia make up an outstanding ensemble cast, all of whom have personal links to the route and the traditional music that serves as the starting point for this exciting new work.


Contact Gael Music

P: +44 (0)1698 459 633

E: office@gael.org.uk

Earnock Glen
South Lanarkshire