Crows' Bones was commissioned by Opera North last year and put together with artful imagination by Lau accordionist Martin Green. There were beautiful sounds from his assembled quartet of musicians.
The voices of Inge Thomson and Becky Unthank made a brilliant match: both flat as pancakes (not a wobble of vibrato in earshot), both breathy as mist, Thomson's wan and girlish, Unthank's seductively warm and raspy. Together or in turns they sang of ghost brides and grisly murders, some of the numbers traditional, others (like Jessica Hoop's restless Tulip) contemporary. They tinkered with toy pianos, windup music boxes and metronomes while the bulk of instrumentals came from Green's propulsive accordion lines and Niklas Roswall's chunky drones and twisting, plaintive melodies on the Swedish nyckelharp.