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Richard Ingham's Bakehouse Band

Richard Ingham's Bakehouse Band

(Skookum Jim and the American Dream) The rhythmic heartbeat of this piece will compel you forward, wrapping you in a tale of creation, compulsion and devastation. This creative team have responded with sensitivity and vitality to Chrys Salt’s compassionate, insightful poem and what emerges is a vivid and poignant journey for you to travel on and wonder at.

Annette Badland, actress

A night of vivid colour was provided by the Ingham Johnstone Project in a jazz-poetry mash-up at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews. A pulsating pulpy tale for a 20-piece jazz orchestra, narrators and soloists. An evocative and eye-opening spectacle.

Brian Donaldson, The Scotsman 4*

Cross-Arts/Multimedia Projects

Instrumentation

  • Dominic Ingham - violin, voice
  • Robin Mason - 'cello
  • May Halyburton - double bass, electric bass
  • Fraser Burke - keyboards
  • Richard Ingham - conductor, saxophone, percussion
  • Chrys Salt - reader
  • Peter Marinker - reader

Repertoire

Skookum Jim and the American Dream - Chrys Salt / Richard Ingham / Ken Smyth

Collateral Damage: Iraq 2003 Remembered - Chrys Salt / Richard Ingham / Ken Smyth

NB fees are exclusive of travel, fee £1,200 if only one reader.

Biography

Richard Ingham’s Bakehouse Band was formed to present live versions of the collaborative film project Skookum Jim and the American Dream. The original was created remotely during lockdown in 2020-2021.

Chrys Salt MBE is an established poet, actor and director; Peter Marinker is a distinguished actor with a long career of many years of theatre and broadcasting. The musicians are all highly recognised in their fields and bring an enormous breadth of musical versatility to the project.

The 40 mimute film is the work of Scottish artist and film-maker Ken Smyth with a soundtrack by composer Richard Ingham and readings by Chrys Salt and Canadian actor and broadcaster Peter Marinker.

The sequence explores the impact of the Klondike gold rush on both the indigenous people of Yukon in north-west Canada, and on the fake-news-inspired stampede of get-rich-quick prospectors. It raises issues of racism, cultural imperialism and environmental destruction.

The recording project was generously supported by Creative Scotland.

‘Skookum’ Jim Mason (Tagish First Nation name Keish), his nephew Patsy Henderson with his Californian friend George Carmack made the first discovery of gold that inspired The Klondike Gold Rush in N W Canada, 1896 – 1899. George Carmack ‘married’ Jim’s sister Kate.

The ensuing ‘gold fever’ wrecked lives, livelihoods, the environment, culture and way of life of the First Nation people. This film and the book on which it is based is a gift to the First Nations of Yukon, many of whom still strive to regain the way of life they lost.

While George Carmack squandered his fortune from the gold rush on a continuing quest for gold, ‘Skookum’ Jim’s wealth was put in trust and the interest generated used to obtain a better standard of health and education for First Nation People of Yukon. It helped to found The Skookum Jim Friendship Centre in Yukon’s capital, Whitehorse, which continues to this day.

For full recitals, the ensemble offers both Skookum Jim and new work Collateral Damage: Iraq 2003 Remembered. Chrys Salt’s affecting and personal poems are combined with Richard Ingham’s music. Chrys’s son was an army reservist who was one of the first to enter Iraq – her poetry chronicles a mother’s fears alongside political and military decisions.

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