Dark Arteries was commissioned by Rambert Dance Company and first performed in May 2015 with the Tredegar Town Band sharing the stage with Rambert dancers. Dark Arteries is a personal and at times highly wrought response to the Miners' Strike and its aftermath. It is in three movements; the first and last are expansive, with widely contrasting sound worlds, from dark, brooding melodies and the haunting sounds of solo flugel horn to wild syncopations on cornets, suggestive of an imposing, but often bleak mining landscape. In 2016 Higgins re-worked Dark Arteries into a virtuosic concert suite, which captures the essence of the work in three connected movements.
Dark Arteries Suite was premiered by the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, conducted by Bramwell Tovey at the Barbican Centre, London, 22 April 2017. A3 score available on request.