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HARK!: The Sound of Stories

HARK! brings you live music inspired by stories, histories and poetry – with the readings from the stories that inspired the music

Join us for a special evening designed to brighten these dark months. An intimate, candlelit evening featuring music from some of the North East’s finest up-and-coming artists, with work inspired and influenced by Susannah Clarke (Piranesi and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell), C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, the Ladybird How It Works series, Italio Calvino (The Castle of Crossed Destinies), David Eagleman (Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives) and Walter Lord’s definitive Titanic text A Night To Remember, among others.

A beguiling mix of soaring vocals and atmospheric electronics that playfully push the boundaries of genre, ME LOST ME delights in experimenting with songwriting and storytelling. Led by Newcastle-based artist Jayne Dent who takes influence from folk, art pop, noise, ambient and improvised music, the project has transformed since 2017 from a solo endeavor to an expanded group; regularly collaborating with acclaimed North-East jazz musicians Faye MacCalman and John Pope. Me Lost Me’s music has been described in The Guardian as ‘stripping folk back to its bones while letting its future echoes bleed out’, and by BBC Radio 6’s Tom Robinson as a ‘brilliant peculiar noise’. Dent’s writing is influenced by books that experiment with storytelling through a specific constraint or format, including Italio Calvino’s The Castle of Crossed Destinies, David Eagleman’s Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, and Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart’s The Hundreds: ‘I think about these often when writing lyrics and improvising – the way they experiment has constantly inspired my approach to making music.’

Darlington author LISETTE AUTON will read an extract from The Hundreds, by Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart.

Expect atmospheric electronica paired with captivating vocals from REBECCA DENNIFF. Rebecca is a singer and composer based on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. (Storm Chorus, Subphotic, Bonfire Hill) She is influenced by the wilderness and the real and imagined worlds that she finds in the works of a range of authors and artists. She is currently working on two projects with cult label Castles in Space: Wardle Rigg (a geo-located tour of the wild moors) and a folkloric almanac called A Year on Bonfire Hill, with collaborator and partner David Owen (Storm Chorus, Band of Cloud, The FLK, The Hollow Men). Through her improvisational performances with Band of Cloud she had been working with the hyper-real world of the Ladybird books. Another recent musical exploration is a journey into the worlds of Susanna Clarke. They are there, just out of reach, if you look for the way in.

Award-winning poet and author HARRY MAN will read an extract from C.S Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew.

A powerful, soulful voice delivering story-driven songs, KIM RALLS is a forceful presence onstage, with a sound and style all his own. His songs draw on a mixture of his own experiences, the inspiration he finds from books and films, and the love of a strong narrative to weave compelling stories backed by guitar and cello-mandolin. Born in Norwich and now based in the North East of England, Kim has been making a name for himself as a compelling performer whose songs have connected with audiences wherever he’s played.

Poet Dianne Casey of the Tees Women Poets will read an extract from Walter Lorde’s A Night to Remember.

PLUS the HARK! Book Exchange! Bring a copy of a book you love for someone else to discover, and leave with a different book for you! (Optional – but the more people who join in the better it is!)

Tickets available from Skiddle –


Fully accessible

Opening Times





Address: Hash Bar and Kitchen, Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, UK

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