West Midlands singer-songwriter Dan Whitehouse celebrates his latest album – Reflections On The Glass Age – with a special one-off performance at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on Friday 26 May 2023.
The evening, entitled A Night Of Glass, will see Dan perform songs that both reflect our times, and his own personal experiences of the last couple of years.
Isolated from his infant son and unable to perform live during the global upheaval of 2020, like many of us, Dan took solace in connectivity through digital space – a snatched Zoom call, a DM on Instagram, a late flurry of lovelorn emojis.
Reflecting on how much of our human experience and expression is now mediated through the looking glass of virtual communication – that thin ‘glass’ screen on your mobile, tablet, laptop, TV etc – he crafted a delicate suite of songs. Recorded remotely with Swedish composer/ multi-instrumentalist/ producer Gustaf Ljunggren, the seven tracks, awash with subtle electronica, were released in summer 2022 as the glacial The Glass Age.
Now, Dan has followed it up with Reflections On The Glass Age (out 28 April 2023). An acoustic companion piece, it sees the musician represent the same songs, yet stripped right back and captured live at a series of performances in Danish and UK studios.
In addition to performing songs from Reflections On/ The Glass Age, A Night Of Glass will also see Dan revisit several tracks from Voices From The Cones – his acclaimed collaborative heritage project inspired by real stories from Stourbridge’s once vibrant glass industry.
Joining him on stage are Birmingham musicians drummer Alex Lowe (Lycio), adding atmospheric electronic and acoustic percussion, and Elizabeth J. Birch. She’ll be singing and playing on several key tracks, including their Voices From The Cones collaboration Rouse Ye Women – a moving tribute to activist Mary Macarthur and the Cradley Heath Chainmaker’s strike of 1910. Elizabeth will also be opening the evening with material from her Kenopsia EP (out 16 June 2023) and other solo releases.
Discussing the ‘glass’ theme, Dan says: “We spend so much of our time looking at glass screens, getting sucked into algorithms, pointing our attention in different directions from one moment to the next; writing this show and the new music has helped me to focus and stay steady in recent times.
“Last year I visited the new space at the Symphony Hall – the Justham Family Room and Jane How Rooms – for the first time, and it struck me that the floor-to-ceiling glass and the stunning views of our city made this the perfect listening environment for these reflective songs, which I wrote while out in Japan. I can’t wait to bring them home.
“In the show I’m reflecting on the exponential rise in social media and how we’ve adopted the glass screens of our devices almost as part of the family,” he continues. “As well as playing the songs from The Glass Age I’ll be sharing field recordings from my time living in Japan, and interview clips from former glass workers in Stourbridge at this special Night Of Glass.”
• Dan Whitehouse: A Night Of Glass is at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on Friday 26 May 2023. For tickets and more information, see: www.dan-whitehouse.com