It’s a collection of five songs commissioned for the 900th Anniversary celebrations in Alnwick of the Percy family’s residence in the town. I spoke to local residents and researched broadly to find themes, stories and language which would be appropriate to this very specific location and focus. The performance was to include two local choirs of varying abilities and sizes as well as piano and Northumbrian pipes, about which I previously knew nothing. I worked closely with the Andy the piper, and conductor Peter Brown, to ensure that the music challenged but did not defeat the performers. The finished collection contained five songs interspersed with readings performed by the local amateur dramatic society: Percy, Percy! – an evocation to and partial enactment of battle; Nae Stream Sae Lovely – a gentle ballad of fishing and poaching in the River Coquet, using much Northumbrian dialect; Perilous Land – a trot through the 19th century Northumbrian countryside with an ironic sideways glance at some of the difficulties one may encounter; The Reluctant Pitman – an evocative and tentative exploration by a visitor to a coal-mine; The Duke Of Northumberland’s Ale – a increasingly drunken drinking song, extolling the virtues of this tasty beverage. The local newspaper previewed the performance, which took place in Alnwick Playhouse.