Monthly Archives: February 2013

Centre for Music Studies hosts City Music Careers Evening

The Centre for Music Studies hosted a major event, ‘Careers with a Music Degree’, in the Performance Space at City University London on Tuesday 12 February 2013 from 6-9pm.

The event welcomed external speakers from a range of different music-related professions including venue management, teaching, freelance performance, the music business, music therapy, sound recording, and graduate positions. In addition to explaining their own roles and professions, the panel of experts had many useful employability tips to pass on to the students.

Speakers represented organizations including the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Barbican, The Latymer School, ForeSound School of Music and the Performing Arts, Mazars LLP, and the Incorporated Society of Musicians. Several were recent graduates of the City BMus programme who were now in key positions within their profession.

Some 50 current students were in attendance. Many have now made important new contacts and some have even secured placement opportunities as a direct result of the event.

Ikuko Inoguchi presents at ‘Music fom Japan’ conference

Doctoral candidate Ikuko Inoguchi presented her paper, “Performing Tōru Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch: A Sense of Time, A Sense of Space, and A Sensitivity to Colour and Tone,” on 1 February, 2013, at the conference “Music from Japan.” Co-hosted by the Institute of Musical Research and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the conference was programmed to complement the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion: Sounds from Japan.

After performing Rain Tree Sketch, Ikuko discussed the notion of time in the work, and how to respond to it in performance. Following the analysis of the piece, showing how Takemitsu communicates the idea of natural cycles of water with his cyclical use of motif and pitch-class sets, she compared three recordings by Kazuoki Fujii (1982), Roger Woodward (1990), Peter Serkin (2000) and suggested that their choices of different tempi could have been the result of different tempo markings in three editions, based on her recent findings made upon her visit to Schott Japan Tokyo office in December 2012.

After introducing the concept of ma with a DVD performance of , Ikuko concluded her presentation with a discussion of how the performer can assimilate the aesthetic of ma in order to evoke in the listener’s perception the feel of cyclic time that Takemitsu had in mind.

Rhythms of the City in Brazil

It’s a relatively easy decision to make, to take your students to Brazil, once you are offered gigs in Rio de Janeiro’s top venues. Following a successful Olympic collaboration between Rhythms of the City (City University’s own carnival group) and two of Rio’s most popular street carnival big-hitters: Monobloco and Sargento Pimenta, the return leg was going to be more fun than playing in the rain on top of a routemaster, as we had for the Lord Mayor’s show. No sign of carnival spirit there.

Rio was unsurprisingly altogether different. A 30 strong group of half City teachers, alumni, current undergrads and postgrad, with players from other London institutions making up the numbers, spent one month in workshops, and interaction with every level of musical life in the worlds party capital. It would have been enough to play the 2 shows offered, but by the time word got round, more opportunities came our way to exhibit our skills, playing with traditional samba schools (favela based community carnival organisations), in parties, in the street and on stage. There were also interviews and features in O Globo and elsewhere in the media, our name also being carried forward by blocos (carnival bands) who are playing our arrangements.

The icing on the cake came when, following a masterclass with the city’s most revered samba percussion director (Odlion Costa) and top carnival percussion judge (Sergio Naidin), Odlion invited us to perform for the community at his samba school, Uniao da Ilha do Governador, on the night before our departure. This was an honour beyond our dreams, and we became the first UK group to play at a samba school, hitting it with funky motown covers alongside  local classics. 2nd Year music student, Yazzmin Newell, became an instant celebrity as she leapt from the band to display her amazing samba dance skills at the community’s Saturday night ball.

Hopefully, the 10,000+ who caught our performances over the month will spread the word before we inevitably return.

Can’t make it to Rio? check for performances closer to home.

— Barak Schmool


Throughout the duration of this trip, 2nd year music student, Rebbecca Neofitou also wrote a trio of blogs for Songlines Magazine, the only world music magazine in the UK, following her internship there before Christmas. The blog became a feature that online readers could follow and keep up to date with Rhythms of the City’s growing success whilst in Rio de Janeiro. These can be found here: