Gibraltar’s first steel band made its debut in April under the direction of City PhD student Rachel Hayward. Royal Gibraltar Regimental Band Leader, Craig Philbin, aims to nurture community music-making on the Rock. Inspired by the bands he heard in Jamaica, he contacted Rachel to help initiate the project.
Rachel introduced members of the Regimental Band to traditional Trinidadian Carnival songs, ran workshops with local school children, and trained up two youth groups who then performed and won both their classes in the Rock’s Youth Music Festival. The cadets’ pipe and drum corp so wowed the adjudicator with their performance of Toots and the Maytals’ ska classic ‘Monkey Man’ that they were invited to open the gala concert the following week. Craig is now looking to treble the size of the project and fly Rachel back as soon as possible to further the cause of pan on the Rock.
On Saturday 18th May 2013, City’s Middle Eastern Ensemble gave a captivating performance to an audience of students, staff and parents at the prestigious Rostam Saturday Farsi (Persian) School.
The performance included rhythmic as well as instrumental and vocal pieces. The daf frame drums, tombak goblet-shaped drum and darbuka were used in the rhythm section while the melody section was made up of more standard Western instruments: violins, clarinet, guitar and flute.
The vocal piece was based on a poem by the renowned 13-century Iranian poet, Molana (Rumi). The melody based on the ancient 17-beat cycle called “khosh-rang”, meaning “beautiful colours”, attracted a lot of interest as did the song based on the poem by Molana.
PhD student Liam Cagney has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, Switzerland.
The Sacher Foundation is ‘an international research center for the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with some hundred estates and collections from leading composers and performers.’ Among the composers for whom collections are held at the Foundation are Stravinsky, Boulez, Ligeti, and Webern.
Liam will spend March and April 2014 researching the Gérard Grisey Collection at the Sacher Foundation. This research is part of Liam’s PhD project, entitled ‘The Development of French Spectral Music, 1972-1982, with a particular focus on the music of Gérard Grisey’.
In other activity, Liam recently had an article published by Sinfini Music on new music from Ireland. Featuring interviews with composers Donnacha Dennehy and Ed Bennett, the article can be read online here: http://sinfinimusic.com/uk/features/2013/04/feature-contemporary-irish-music/
Liam also has two review articles in the May issue of Opera Magazine.
PhD student Marie Saunders will be taking part in a Symposium organised by the Music Department at Holloway University, to be held on 27th-28th June. The Symposium is called “Love and Sentimentalism in Popular Music”.
Marie’s contribution will form part of the “Migration, Displacement and Emplacement” session of the Symposium. The title of her paper is “Burns’ Popular Songs and a Scottish Identity”.
PhD student Christina Michael will be presenting at the symposium MASTERING THE MIX: Interdisciplinarity in Musicology and Compositional Practice, which is going to be held on the 4th of June at Oxford Brooks University.
In the presentation Christina will focus on Manos Hadjidakis’ compositions for ancient Greek drama and the ways in which certain elements of authenticity and national identity are constantly raised. There will be a discussion over the so-called ‘Greekness’ of those works as well as a discussion on alleged relations to anterior genres of Greek music that lead to theories of musical continuity. Furthermore, there will be a specific focus on the shift of ‘art’ music to ‘popular’ on the stage of ancient Greek drama and the bridging of the chasm between the two through the creation of a new hybrid genre of music in Greece during the 1950s, that of the ‘art-popular’ tradition [entechno laiko].
A recent graduate from the Doctorate of Musical Arts, pianist Clare Hammond is to perform at the Wigmore Hall on the 17th June 2013 with a programme of works by Bach, Schubert and Ginastera for the Park Lane Group’s “Monday Platform” series. More information is available online at www.wigmore-hall.org.uk and www.clarehammond.com.