2016 sees TUSK Festival settle into its new home of Sage Gateshead, the landmark building erected as the new home of the Northern Sinfonia. As ever, this year’s TUSK programme pulls in magic from all musical areas and global locations and Mark Carroll’s set seems a fitting clarion call to open proceedings as we commandeer the Sinfonia’s favourite armchair and take control of the sound system for a bewildering and enlightening 80 hours or so.
Mark plays the cello, an instrument dripping in the history of European classical music, entertainment for the elites and, you might say, still the beneficiary of cultural elitism even today. An instrument can be taken anywhere you want it to though – all the way back to 17th Century Europe or blasting into a glorious and unbounded sonic future, allied with all the contemporary tools at a musician’s disposal. Mark’s subjects the cello’s rich, warm resonance and magnifies it gloriously with amplification and effects, broadcasting gargantuan bass strokes, exquisitely fractured details writ large in the air that’s moved around him. His Friday 5pm concourse set will announce TUSK 2016’s arrival and be your summons to get this weekend started.