About Martin Green
The Portal – album and podcast out now
“The Portal” is the first new music from Martin Green (Lau) since his acclaimed “Flit” album (2016). The single was made in collaboration with electronic producer and DJ James Holden (Holden has previously remixed Depeche Mode, Radiohead and Madonna whilst his label Border Community has released a string of pioneering sounds by the likes of Leafcutter John and Nathan Fake alongside his own music).
The Portal track is an epic new sound world of thumping folk-tronica released by Reveal Records on August 7th 2020 and followed by The Portal full album release on September 25th, to coincide with the launch of a 12 episode podcast. A special edition CD with The Podcast and Album over 5 CD’s is available to order now from our Store.
More about The Portal Podcast and Album
Lose yourself in a story of obsession, 40 years of nightlife and 4,000 years of human connection. In The Portal Martin Green, Wils Wilson, and David Greig have woven together a tale of love, music, drugs and deceit over 12 episodes available on Apple Music/Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all good podcast platforms from 25 September.
A story where two obsessive recordists, and lovers torn apart by circumstance; Etteridge and Angela left us the most incredible collection of 20th century documentation ever made.
From 1947 to 1988 they never met. They recorded any and every aspect of London nightlife, from war-time dance-halls to the legendary M25 raves. But these recordings never saw the light of day until they were discovered in 2016.
Why did they keep these tapes secret? Because for 40 years these parted lovers had been leaving messages for each other in these recordings, a dark, dark story left for us to piece together.
The Portal has been created by Martin Green, winner of the Ivor Novello Award for composing in 2019 for Aeons, a sound installation that was part of the Great Exhibition of the North, in collaboration with Opera North. Martin is best known as one third of the folk trio, Lau. This dark tale is not a true story but a Fictional Podcast inspired by moments in Martin’s childhood.
Cast includes Dylan Read as Etteridge, Anna Russell Martin & Alison Peebles as Angela. Cast also includes Robbie Jack, Owen Whitelaw, Nadia Albina, Jessica Hardwick and Amanda Wilkin.
Martin has collaborated with a fantastic creative team to realise The Portal. The Podcast is directed by Wils Wilson, who has created performances for The National Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, The National Theatre of Wales, Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh amongst many other critically acclaimed productions. Dramaturgy is by David Greig, the multi award winning writer and Artistic Director of The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh who has written work for Royal Shakespeare Company, Paines Plough, Edinburgh International Festival, National Theatre of Scotland, The Barbican and adapted Charlie and the Chocolate factory for Drury Lane Theatre, London. Sound design is by Eloise Whitmore, Radio Sound Designer and Producer of Year, who has won numerous awards and worked on productions including BBC’s Tunnel 29, Maxine Peake’s Beryl: A love Story on Two Wheels and created work with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Portal album features contributions by Yasaman Najmeddin, James Holden, Radie Peat, RTE Folk Singer of the Year, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Radio 2 Young Folk Musician award winner 2016 and Horizon Award 2019 winner, and Kate Young winner of the Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers 2018 and album of the year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017.
Angela – Featuring Radie Peat
Etteridge – Featuring Brìghde Chaimbeul
The Tup – Featuring Yasaman Najmeddin
The Portal – Featuring James Holden
The Portal Podcast
12 Episode Fictional Podcast
Original score and story by Martin Green – (Ivor Novello Award Winner 2019) with contributions from: James Holden (Border Community) Radie Peat (RTE Folk Singer of the Year) Brìghde Chaimbeul (BBC Folk Award winner)
Wils Wilson: Director David Greig: Dramaturgy Eloise Whitmore: Sound Design (BBC Radio 4 Tunnel 29)
Executive Producer & Script Editor: Polly Thomas
Senior Producer: Martin Atkinson
Casting: Anna Dawson
Created by Lepus Productions, in collaboration with Naked Productions
Edinburgh International Festival
National theatre of Scotland
Oxford Contemporary Music
Colston Hall (Bristol Music Trust)
The North Wall
Martin Green’s previous studio album ‘Flit’ (2016) was inspired by first hand stories of human movement around the world. At a time when migration is constantly on our screens and minds, his new work reveals the human side to the story in a performance combining atmospheric music and (for the stage version) breath-taking stop-motion animation.
Green, along with Becky Unthank (The Unthanks), Dominic Aitchison (Mogwai), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Adam Holmes, have crafted dark, atmospheric songs, setting Becky’s ethereal vocals against a backdrop of enveloping electronics and guitars. As they play, animated figures created by BAFTA award-winners whiterobot (Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson) weave in and around them, evoking the stories that provide the creative impulse for the project.
During the research and development stage for ‘Flit’, Martin collected stories of social migration from the people around him. Some are heart-warming, life-affirming tales, others are tragic and heartbreaking, but all have an over-arching humanity.
Offering an insight into the writing and song editing process, he says:
“I find a theme that is a wonderful starting point for any project, it gives parameters and that leads to creative ideas. I had been collecting stories from my Grandmother, about her experiences of moving to England in the 1930s, and they were so fascinating and moving that I started collecting stories from other people about their experiences of moving round the world. These stories became a shared resource for me and the songwriters to use as inspiration”.
The production and the album feature an array of world-class musical collaborators: songwriters Karine Polwart, Aidan Moffat and Anaïs Mitchell; musicians Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Dominic Aitchison (Mogwai); and singers Becky Unthank (The Unthanks), Adam Holmes and John Smith.
“The production is quite detailed. Many of the tracks started as improvisations that I cut up and reordered: sampled little bits, for instance, that often produce interesting results because you end up with little tunes you would never have written otherwise. Reordering things propels you out of any small comfort zones and repetitions you can fall into when writing music. Many of those cut-up pieces we then learnt and replaced, but some of them still remain. The quality of lyrics brought in by various songwriters who have been involved, Anaïs Mitchell, Karine Polwart, Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap) I have found stunning, good poetry stands repeated listening, and there are fresh things to be found in these words, even after hearing them many times. Oh, and the production has bass… lots of bass”.
“Discussions with Adrian (Utley of Portishead) came up with the idea of framing Becky Unthank’s voice within a wall of dark electronic sounds. Both analogue synthesis and traditional singing have a certain purity to them, both are pretty uncompromising sounds, and putting them together excited us. Dominic (Aitchison, Mogwai) was the perfect choice for bringing a human quality to the low end.”
Eighteen months later, the album (produced by Utley at his Bristol studio) is complete and it is a thing of haunting and shimmering beauty.
Flit was released by Reveal Records and was nominated for Best Original Track at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017.
Martin Green Website Martin Green website