The Humber Star

Hessle Rd Women @ Hull History Centre Archive

After six months of keeping this under my hat I can finally reveal that my new collaborative work with Halldór Smárason will be performed at John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay programme as part of Hull City of Culture 2017.

The Humber Star is a love story spoken in the distant voice of my great great great grandmother, Mary Mudd, and is the second part of Beyond the Silver Pit. The poem explores the bitter reality of working-class life for women in 19th century Hessle Road and reveals a culture of superstition, craft and resilience that followed the great winter storm of 1894. Set at Spurn Point, it is a work of longing and loss that reflects the power and devastation of the North Sea. It will be read live by Hull poet Vicky Foster and has been adapted by Icelandic composer Halldór Smárason. The Humber Star will be performed by an ensemble, Sinfonia UK Collective, at Jubilee Church on Saturday 29th April.

Other performers on the day include Cobby & Litten, Lindstrøm, Prins Póló, Wrangler, Sleepy Folk, Ragga Gisla, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction at North Atlantic Flux, Eyvind Gulbrandsen & The Royal Northern College of Music, Pinquins, Luke Eargoggle and Actress (DJ set).

Bringing some of the best in electronica, contemporary classical and experimental music to Hull, John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds from Smoky Bay will celebrate the city’s Nordic and international links.

John has curated the festival, bringing some of the most innovative musicians from Norway, Denmark and Iceland together with those from Hull and the rest of the UK. He will be performing at Hull City Hall during the weekend.

More details (and tickets) here.

NB: This image was discovered in Hull History Centre’s library and central archive. It’s from the 19th century and shows a typical local fishing family.


The Humber Star project has been commissioned by Curated Place and is supported through the Artists’ International Development Fund, a jointly funded programme between the British Council and Arts Council England, and Grants for the Arts.

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