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  1. ITV Report

Jazz cellist to perform inside famous Standedge canal tunnel

  • Watch the full report by Katharine Walker

One of the most famous canal tunnels in the UK is hosting a one-in-a-lifetime concert.

Normally used by canal boats, Standedge Tunnel in Marsden is preparing to be filled with the sound of cellos at this weekend's Marsden Jazz Festival.

Cellist and composer Maja Bugge will be creating music in dialogue with this unique space and its acoustic, with the audience travelling by boat part way through the 3 ¼ mile tunnel to listen.

Standedge Tunnel is Britain’s longest and deepest canal tunnel. Finally completed in 1811, it took 17 years to dig and cost the lives of 50 men.

Standedge Tunnel is Britain’s longest and deepest canal tunnel. Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Barney Stevenson, Artistic Director, Marsden Jazz Festival said: “We have organised a huge variety of events over the years, but its certainly one of the most unusual and complex to organise in a canal tunnel."

"I cannot wait to see the audience’s reaction to this very special event and welcome visitors to the picturesque Pennine village of Marsden for some wonderful music over the festival weekend."

Cellist and composer Maja Bugge will be creating music in dialogue with this unique space and its acoustic. Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Maja Bugge added: “Whilst I’ve played other unusual sites, Standedge Tunnel will be the first time I’ve played in a canal tunnel"

She added: “All my work is about an attempt for dialogue; a dialogue between the cello and a site, a text, an image, a movement, a space. All my work as a composer and performer is concerned with this dialogue."

"The Standedge canal tunnel gives me a unique opportunity to play with a site that has got over 200 years of history. It is a site where the cello will sound like nowhere else. And the tunnel itself will totally inform and shape the music.”