Dance of The Red Glove

The ‘Dance of The Red Glove’ has been used since 2006 to lead the procession during the opening of the Charter Fair, and has also been the theme tune for the children’s dance. It is also regularly performed by the Cornish Dance group ‘Tros an Trey’.

The music was composed by local composer and professional violinist Sue Aston. Violinist Sue Aston graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire and freelanced with many orchestras as well as doing sessions for rock and folk bands. It was also during this time that Sue appeared on classical recordings, radio and television, both nationally and internationally, and worked with eminent musicians such as Simon Rattle, Nigel Kennedy, Peter Donohoe, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Charles Groves and Esa Pekka Salonen.

She has recorded for the guitarist Gordon Giltrap, the singer Chris de Burgh, and supported folk legends Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick. As a soloist, Sue’s music videos have been played regularly on the Sky TV Classical Music channel, as well as Classic FM TV. She has been interviewed and her music has also been featured on BBC1, Radio 2 ,3 and 4, as well as BBC Radio Cornwall.

Sue Aston talks about her music and Cornwall

“I was honoured to have some of my music adopted as the theme for the children’s ‘Dance of the Red Glove,’ which features in the opening ceremony for the Goldsithney Charter Fair”

The Cornish landscape has always been a great influence on my work as a composer, whether it’s the drama of the ever changing sea – tranquil and Mediterranean blue one day, wild and crashing relentlessly on to the rocks the next – or the mystery of the many sacred sites which are dotted around the countryside.  The moorland, with its wild ponies and vivid gorse, the coastal paths and beaches are all places I seek out when finding a spot to sit down and compose my music.  My three albums entitled ‘Sacred Landscapes’, ‘Inspirational Journey’, Between Worlds’  and DVD ‘Reflections of Cornwall’ are all dedicated to this special place.

Cornwall is a county which comprises of a vast array of many different stunning locations; each village and town as unique as the one next to it. A lifetime spent in Cornwall would always yield some hidden place as yet unvisited.

The south coast, often more gentle in nature than the north – with its creeks and inlets, palm trees and wooded valleys, gives way to the vivid azure sea, dotted with yachts and sailing boats. Contrast this to the windswept wild nature of the north coast, where the storms stir up the Atlantic Ocean. A magnetic pull for surfers; sea gulls swoop to catch fish newly caught by the fishermen who bravely go out about their work.

Composing one of my pieces entitled ‘Storm Cat’ reflects the nature of the perpetual battle between man, the elements wielded by Mother Nature and the vast untameable ocean.

Stone circles, holy wells, fogous, quoits and standing stones scatter the landscape, with a concentration of them amalgamating in the area of West Penwith.

Much legend and folklore surround these places; from the ‘Merry Maidens’ stone circle where young girls were turned into stone for dancing on the Sabbath, to the healing energies which are all pervasive at Madron Holy Well. The lush, verdant greenery surrounds the ruins of the chapel there, and the brightly coloured clouties tied to the trees, which represent the prayers and wishes of the visitors, are a spectacle in themselves.

Both of these locations have inspired my work as a composer, and feature on my first album ‘Sacred Landscapes’.

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Visually, the natural cinematic qualities of Cornwall lends itself naturally to the media of film, and so the idea of creating a DVD with the local film company Meteor Productions, was a very exciting prospect. Locations for the filming included Marazion – with St Michaels’ Mount as the backdrop – Trencrom Hill near St Ives, Tehidy Woods, Newlyn and Zennor. These stunning areas reflected the mystery and drama of the legends which inspired the music form my ‘Inspirational Journey’ album.  The videos have since been featured regularly on the Sky Classical Music TV Channel ‘OMusic’, which in itself has helped to promote the beautiful Cornish landscape to perhaps an even wider audience through the combination of media of film.

Another of the great attractions that Cornwall has to offer are the special festivals and feast days which many of the villages and towns celebrate each year.  This reflects the enormous sense of community which involves both young and old, and which is prevalent in this wonderful county.  I was honoured to have some of my music adopted as the theme for the children’s Dance of the Red Glove, which features in the opening ceremony for the Goldsithney Charter Fair.  Another of my pieces – ‘Mazey Dazey’ – has been inspired by the Mazey Day parade which takes place during the Penzance festival of Golowan.


Cornwall is an inspirational place – not only for the visitors who flock here each year – but also for the many artists and musicians who make it their home.

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