Branch Lines is one of a series of works that explore notions of 'sonic ghosting' in relation to place, memory, temporality and the post industrial landscape. The composition responds to the experience of visiting, recording and listening at Causey Arch - the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world, near Tanfield in County Durham. At one point in the 18th century the arch carried 900 horse-drawn coal waggons a day before becoming disused and descending into ruin. It has subsequently been restored and is now park of a country park and picnic area. Branch Lines explores the multiple sonic layerings of the site - the people/things that have inhabited it and their subsequent echoes, semblances and apparitions.

Branch Lines was commissioned for the New Music Players chamber ensemble, and premiered at the University of Sussex Meeting House and The Warehouse, Waterloo alongside works by Ed Hughes, Lee Westwood, Barnaby Hollington, and Tom Reid.




Performers:
Fiona Cross, clarinet
Katie Stillman, violin
Joe Giddey, cello
Richard Casey, piano


Branch Lines Score
Working on the score

Causey Arch Distant
Causey Arch

Under Causey Arch
Recording under the Arch

Wooden Coal Wagon
An example of a wooden wagon at the site

Tanfield Line
Tanfield railway line

Causey concrete
Some remnants….

Tanfield Line bothy
A cosy bothy?