Innovative and inclusive music and arts in Cumbria and NE

Io Saturnalia

Io! Saturnalia. Winter Solstice, Wed 21st Dec. A   drawing of two people dancing, like on a greek pot, along with a fire.

Greetings from the Spirit of Misrule!

Celebrating the Winter Solstice in 2022 with

On the winter solstice, 21st December 2022, we came together at Hadrians Wall for Saturnalia celebrations using the themes of the festival in its various incantations down the ages. In workshops with Brampton Improv Choir before the event we created a songbook, using improvised tunes, grooves and words. On solstice night we came together for drumming, singing and mask making in the Studio and later on round the fire in the Roundhouse in the woods. It was amazing!

You can download the songbook we created and listen to some of the improvisations below.

This project was supported by Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Community Grants, made possible with National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Made possible with Heritage Fund - logo image of crossed fingers

Event Gallery

Saturnalia Songbook

This book is available to download as a pdf and is free to use for any community setting. Please click here to download a copy. We can also send musescore or Sibelius files for you to tailor for your own groups – please contact us if you would like access to these.

Geltsdale Singers

SEE FOR MILES – Wall Three Words project – The choir taught everyone a tune by Helen Chadwick which they had written new words for, based on themes around the Wall.

Brampton Improv Choir

For 4 weeks in the run up to lo Saturnalia we improvised tunes, grooves and words to create a series of chants and songs. Here are some recordings of the singing that we did, plus some hooks and lines everyone can join in with to build up new improvisations on the night!

Improvisation using Flames Light Up The Sky ideas
Flames Light Up the Sky – line to repeat

Timetable – Solstice ‘Io Saturnalia’ Celebrations!

3.00 pm  For those that want to sing and car share let’s meet at The Heugh.

3.15 pm  Singers meet and park up on the road side for Low Wall Farm (54.972027, -2.728576 on Google Maps).  If there are too many cars to safely park on the road Raf and Tim have kindly said that we can park down in their courtyard (at Low Wall Farm) but please don’t park on the verge of their track as the grass is soft.  So either at the top (by the road) or the bottom (in front of the house).

3.30 pm Sing at Elder Rose Oak (about 5 mins walk east along the Hadrian’s Wall footpath (What3Words FitsEmpireBroadens).   We will sing See For Miles and Oak Oak (Music and words at the bottom of this email – I will bring the blackboard so we will have words on site).

4.00 pm. Hot drinks and mince pies in the Studio at The Heugh.  Mask-making and music.

6.00 pm. Re-organise studio for Feasting.  Please bring some food to share.  We will make a big pot of rice and some dahl so it would be lovely to bring food that fits an Indian theme.  If you don’t want/don’t have time to cook then some pappadum or naan or Brinjal Pickle or Lime Pickle or yoghurt and cucumber for Raita would be very welcome.

7.30 pm Prepare to leave studio.

8.00 pm Head across the field to the Roundhouse (about 10 minutes walk. Please bring wellies or walking boots and all the sensible outdoors winter wear).

8.15 pm Roundhouse Revelry.  Meet the Spirit of Misrule.  Songs and Dancing around the fire. Dirty Jokes (please bring a couple!).

9.30 pm. Head back to The Heugh and disperse into the new year.