Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening to showcase Cloud Horizons at Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall on October 18

Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening: York concert

NORTHUMBRIAN piper, fiddle player, composer, educator and broadcaster Kathryn Tickell will play the University of York on October 18.

The award-winning roots musician, 56, will be showcasing Cloud Horizons, her second album recorded with The Darkening, released on September 1 on Resilient Records on CD and digital download. 

Based in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall yet reaching out to the wider world, Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening explore the connecting threads of music, landscape and people over a period of almost 2,000 years.

The Darkening draw inspiration from the wild, dramatic and weather-bitten countryside along Hadrian’s Wall: a landscape that seems so quintessentially Northumbrian and yet was once inhabited by people from the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire, worshipping different gods and following different customs.

Songs range from themes of freedom, nature and venturing out into the world after times of darkness, to a Roman inscription with links to Libya and Syria magnetically pulled into the 21st century by Amen-inspired breakbeats, ominous vocals and the wildest of piping.

The artwork for Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening’s second album, Cloud Horizons

Cloud Horizons, the follow-up to 2019’s Hollowbone, is an album of extremes, one where Northumbrian traditions meet global influences. Dark, edgy soundscapes flare into euphoria with the precision of the pipes and accordion, bombastic effects-drenched octave mandolin, haunting harmony vocals, programmed beats, evocative slow airs and heart-pounding dance tunes. Lyres, clàrsach, sistrum, bone-flute and traditional Galician percussion add potency to the ambience.

Named after the old Northumbrian word for twilight, The Darkening feature four North East-based musicians, Kathryn Tickell (Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle, vocals), AmyThatcher (accordion, synth, clogs, vocals), Kieran Szifris (octave mandolin), Joe Truswell (drums, percussion, programming), plus Stef Conner, from Cambridge, (vocals, lyres, sistrum), and Josie Duncan, from the Isle of Lewis, (vocals, clarsach). Together they create “Ancient Northumbrian Futurism”.

Cloud Horizons is Kathryn’s 16th release and the first in a career spanning 39 years to feature completely new material. The track listing is: High Way To Hermitage; Long For Light; Caelestis/Sheep InThe Temple; Quilley Reel; Freedom Bird; Just Stop & Eat The Roses; Bone Music; Clogstravaganza; Gods Of War; One Night In Moaña and Back To The Rede.

Tickets for Kathryn’s 7.30pm concert in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, are on sale at and via

Did you know?

KATHRYN Tickell released her first album, On Kielder Side, recorded at her parents’ house, at the age of 17 in 1984.