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Dancers At Dawn




On the 1st May 1987 Martin Green’s dad takes him Morris dancing before dawn on Wandlebury Hill outside Cambridgeshire. Many years later, at sunrise on his twenty-third birthday, he walks home from a rave over this same hill.


This uncanny coincidence has got him thinking. To most people, Morris dancing and [raving] rave culture seem so far apart. We like to think we know what sorts of people do what. So, what do these two groups have in common that drives them out into the fields to dance at dawn?

As an accordionist, producer and storyteller, Martin’s own work lives somewhere between traditional music, electronic music and theatre. In 2020 he made a podcast, called The Portal, that linked the ancient traditions of English dancing to the birth of rave in the 1980s, which led him to draw on events from his own life, of dawn Morris dancing and sunrise raves. This documentary explores those themes. Why do we dance at dawn? Is there an innate desire to do so?


Recollecting his experiences with his father and rave friend Becky, Martin uncovers the traditions and rituals surrounding each activity. He speaks to others who have danced at dawn and seeks expert advice from [the] DJ Lee Burridge, who’s famous for his full moon parties in Thailand and sunrise sets at Burning Man festival.


Taking all this experience on board, Martin undertakes a solo experiment. Removing all people and connections he drives on his own, in the dark to a remote field near his house with a mission. He wants to find out what it is about the music, the dancing and the surroundings that makes dancing at dawn truly special.

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BBC Sounds

Love, Spit and Valve Oil

BBC RADIO 4 - 7 MARCH 2022



Folk musician Martin Green explores the phenomenon that is modern brass banding. After following a poster at the National Mining Museum Scotland that said “brass in the park, this Saturday”, Martin discovered one of the most inspiring social music making acts he’d ever witnessed. If the mines are dead, the music and the people most definitely are not.

Determined to find out what continues to draw people into brass banding, both musically and socially, Martin decides to write a piece of music for brass band and seek advice from those in the community. He finds a series of interesting juxtapositions and discovers the important role brass banding has in people's lives.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell and Martin Green

A Sparklab and Lepus co-production for BBC Radio 4

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BBC Sounds

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