A flock of giant musical sheep will ‘sing’ in celebration of Kirklees Year of Music 2023.
As part of a project called HERD, the 23 musical sheep sculptures will pop up across Kirklees between July 11 and 16.
The event will culminate in a fabulous finale at St George’s Square in Huddersfield on Sunday July 16 with hundreds of performers.
HERD is a unique collaboration between artists, musicians, schools and the local community and will see a variety of musical performances from brass and choral to folk and gospel.
There will also be a ney-anbān player – ney-anbān is a bagpipe that originates from Southern Iran – and boliyaan music, a kind of Punjabi folk that accompanies bhangra dances.
The flock of 23 large-scale musical sheep sculptures will ‘sing’ soundscapes. The sheep have been designed by Huddersfield-based artist Dave Young working with heritage craft practitioners. Each sheep has its own unique identity.
HERD is a flagship project for Kirklees Year of Music 2023, and is described as a “ground-breaking artistic collaboration” which is “inspired by and celebrates the diverse musical traditions and industrial history of the region.”
Composer Orlando Gough has created the music for HERD and leading arts production company Artichoke is producing it. HERD will take place around Kirklees during July.
Helen Marriage, CEO and artistic director of Artichoke, said: “After more than a year in the planning, we are delighted to finally be able to begin speaking publicly about HERD.
“Thousands of local people and schoolchildren are involved in the creation of this ground-breaking project, which will celebrate Kirklees’ industrial and musical heritage and people as part of Kirklees Year of Music.
“HERD will be a musical mashup of epic proportions, and will transform forever the way sheep sound and the way Kirklees is imagined.”
Clr Will Simpson, Cabinet member for culture at Kirklees Council, said: “HERD will not only help secure our place on the cultural map in the UK, but also provide amazing opportunities for local communities to be part of something truly spectacular.”
Kirklees Year of Music 2023 is funded by £800,000 from Arts Council England and £99,785 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.