A world musical premiere as an invitation to ‘get fit for culture’ opens Reading 2016

Exercise Book, Palmer Park, Saturday 30 January

The first major event of Reading 2016, the year-long celebration of arts and culture in Reading, has been announced. The world premiere of a brand new musical composition to exercise to, Exercise Book, will take place in Palmer Park on Saturday 30 January 2016. Tickets to be a part of this unique experience are now available.

Reading 2016 has commissioned renowned composer Martyn Harry to create 80 minutes of music which will provide the soundtrack to a five kilometre fun run in East Reading’s Palmer Park. Participants will experience and actually participate in the first ever public performance of Martyn’s new work through a combination of recorded and live musical excerpts as they complete the course.  The musical run is designed for everyone from 11 years and upwards, from running club members to fun runners, families or the musically curious.

Exercise Book comprises musical compositions of varying tempos appropriate for physical exercise. To meet the differing needs and styles of individual runners it offers a choice of different running tempos. One of the pieces will be a transformation of the Reading round, “Sumer is Icumen In,” which was written at Reading Abbey in the early thirteenth century and is reputed to be the oldest six-part polyphonic music in the world.

Martyn Harry is a contemporary classical composer and Professor of music at Oxford University. His works have been performed by the London Sinfonietta, Northern Sinfonia, Broomhill Opera, Eos, the Allegri Quartet, Piano Circus, the Reg Vardy Band, the New Music Players and the BBC Singers, among others.

Martyn Harry said: “I am delighted to have been asked to create a new piece of music for Reading 2016.  Exercise Book will provide Reading’s music-loving runners with a playlist of new musical compositions to enjoy on 30 January as well as hopefully providing a legacy of recordings that people will be able to use to accompany their daily exercise routines.”

Mark Prescott of Reading 2016, said: “We wanted to start the year of culture in Reading with an invitation to everyone to ‘get fit for culture’. This unique musical event will quite literally be a fun exercise and fun exercise! You’ll also be able to say that you’ve taken part in a world premiere.  The project is suitable for anyone over the age of 11and you can run, jog or walk the course to the music.”

The first of Reading 2016’s 12 monthly themes, January’s Get Fit For Culture, aims to inspire people to take on a new cultural experience in the New Year. As well as Exercise Book, there will lots of other cultural experiences on offer, including:-  adult Shakespeare workshops at South Street, a number of high profile comedians at the Hexagon, a psychological thriller at Progress Theatre, a panto at Shinfield Players,  art workshops at OpenHand OpenSpace, video workshops at Rising Sun Arts Centre,  From China to Reading, a new exhibition at Reading Museum, classical music from Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra at The Concert Hall, Readipop’s  Urban Orchestra,  a collaboration between young musicians representing Reading’s diverse music scene.  

To enter Exercise Book, visit https://register.canbook.me/yearofcultures-event or www.reading2016.org.uk . Tickets cost £5 per person ( +68p booking fee) or £12 per family (up to 4 + 85p booking fee). Businesses can support Reading’s Year of Culture by entering a company team of up to 6 people for £80 (+ 80p booking fee).  Do note that the cost of tickets directly support your runners’ pack and other Year of Culture events

To fully experience Exercise Book, runners must have their own MP3 device. Before they start, runners will have downloaded Exercise Book and will run the course while listening to the selected set of music tracks.  There will also be live musical elements as part of the event.

Exercise Book is being supported by Race Solutions, a Reading based race organiser who organise the Annual Santa Run.

Exercise Book takes place in Palmer Park on Saturday 30 January 2016 at 10:15:am.  The compositions will also be released as an international CD recording to make it available to runners worldwide.

More information at www.reading2016.org.uk



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