Either a song, drink or dance, the orchard ‘wassail’ was once both widespread and specific to each of the cider-producing regions across England. Just as wassailing chants grew from the same landscape as their orchards, the Hengrove Wassail is rooted in the Whitchurch and Hengrove Community Orchard and activated by the voices of those living nearby.
Hengrove Wassail was commissioned by Bristol City Council as as part of the Orchard Engagement Programme Spring / Summer 2017. The orchard is a long term public art project originally created by British artist David Thorpe as part of the Future Perfect public art programme.
The Hengrove Wassail lyrics are available as a small concertina publication designed and printed by City Edition Studio with illustrations by Neasden Control Centre. Please get in touch if you would like a copy.
The score was composed by Tina Hitchens and will be performed on site at the orchard as part of a Grafted Chorus devised by Freya Gabie on Saturday 1 July at 2pm. For more information, please see the Future Perfect engagement programme.
The Hengrove Wassail was first performed across four sites at Spike Island Open on 30 April 2017 by Bristol-based vocalists Leila Gamaz, Phil Owen, Ellen Southern and Wenonoah.