Hackney Showroom festival of cultural activism asks: ‘Can protest be joyful?’

Originally posted at Hackney Gazette:

image.jpgCo-director of Hackney Showroom, Sam Curtis Lindsay, talks to Zoe Paskett about their second anniversary and a festival celebrating joyful protest.

So far, 2017 has been a year of protest: against Donald Trump, abortion bans, controversial speakers at universities, violence towards women, immigration – whichever side you fall on, the public are more engaged than they have been in recent years.

While some protests have been violent and some peaceful, many people are now trying to figure out how they would like to utilise their freshly galvanised political passion. “Can joy or beauty be ways of protesting rather than everything being painful or angry all the time?”…

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On International Women’s Day – Meet Ruthless Jabiru

Originally posted at Artisan Accounts:

As part of our endeavor to support International Women’s Day we begged some of our most inspiring female clients to contribute a blog, here Kelly Lovelady from the inimitable Ruthless Jabiru explores change and power.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that ye olde worlde of conducting is overwhelmingly male. The pride and prejudice of the orchestral podium is, to collate the many confounded observations I’ve collected over the years, a beaming anomaly even to those with little or no concert-going experience.

Gender biases in so-called “classical” music are ultimately borne of a performance ritual which reveres and respects its own history so deeply that it continues to perpetuate the quirks of concert culture as it stood in its infancy almost 200 years ago…

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Michael Cryne: ‘Slipstream’ world premiere

Originally posted at Composers Edition:

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Monday, July 25, 2016 will see the world premiere of Michael Cryne‘s ‘Slipstream’ performed by the London chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru as part of the Tempting Failure festival in London.

‘Slipstream’ was written for all-Australian string orchestra Ruthless Jabiru as part of Sound and Music’s Portfolio Scheme. The piece is based on the sculpture created by Richard Wilson for Heathrow Airport in 2014. ‘Slipstream’ is inspired by the exhilarating potential of flight, coupled with the physical aesthetics of aircraft. Constructed in aluminium, the piece aimed to solidify the twisting velocity of a stunt plane manoeuvring through the volume of the new terminal. I aimed to capture this dynamism musically; energetic lines twist and turn with a constant sense of energy…

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From Ruthless Jabiru: Postcards from the New World – Eugene Birman

Originally posted at The Sampler:

Much like two distant branches of a very large family, Australia and the United States (the latter, in which I grew up) don’t know enough about each other – at least, when it comes to their continually emerging classical music traditions, they don’t. As the British Empire’s more distant outposts, historically speaking, and both defined just as much by their Anglo-Saxon origins as their burgeoning immigrant communities, the two nations’ cultural identities developed in parallel: similar objectives, yet rarely meeting.

The most superficial and common discourse on the nations’ cultural life takes up exactly such questions but rarely discusses the cultural identity of the continents before the arrival of Western Europe colonists, yet it is exactly this “native” identity that is primary in understanding where we – and they – are all going, and where we are coming from. At…

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Celebrity Soft Spot Kelly Lovelady

Originally posted at Noted:

Kelly Lovelady is a Perth girl now based in London where she is founder and artistic director of the Australian orchestra Ruthless Jabiru. She drinks tea with Sir Colin Davis, conducts concerts for Greenpeace and lives in a house boat on a canal. This is someone you need to know about!

What music gets your heart racing?
I do a lot of different types of listening these days. Sometimes Im listening to the musicians, sometimes the repertoire, the interpretation, the program, the chemistry, the venue, the sound of a composer, the sound of an instrument, the strength of a piece, the impact of a conductor, the list goes on. My ear responds differently to music I know well compared to something Im hearing for the first time. I do get excited about discovering new composers and their music. At the moment I cant get enough of Counterstream Radio which is the online broadcast of New Music USA. I also love Late Junction (BBC…

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Answers on a postcard

Originally posted at Kelly Lovelady:

Last month the first anniversary of Peter Sculthorpe’s passing quietly slipped by. Some of you may remember back in 2012 when Peter accepted my commission to write a collection of miniatures for my chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru. Although Postcards from Jabiru was never completed, Peter’s sketches for the piece still leave us with something rich – his own impression of where we should go from here.

Peter spoke to me years ago of the gentle jabiru and its mesmeric leggy gait but through this project I think he wanted me to see the duality of Jabiru – as equally a pin in the map, a land, a people, a place from which postcards are sent – and a conversation starter about open pit uranium mining within Kakadu…

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Everyone was a bird

Originally posted at Inside Story:

It’s no surprise that Messiaen was a prisoner of war when he first made use of birdsong, writes Andrew Ford.

Earlier this year I composed a song cycle for baritone and orchestra that includes words from a letter by the nineteenth-century West Australian botanist, Georgiana Molloy, telling of the drowning of her infant son. For obvious reasons I have been thinking about it again these past few days.

Setting a poem to music is one thing, setting somebody’s letter is another. In this case the diction is rather formal. Georgiana is writing to a man in England she has never met, a collector of plants to whom she sends specimens. She tells him of her child’s drowning in order to explain her tardiness, apologising for presuming on the professional nature of their correspondence. Yet perhaps the fact that she is writing to a stranger enables her to…

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Kelly Lovelady on peace, reappropriation and new music for string orchestra

Originally posted at The Sampler:

Kelly Lovelady“Peace and I are strangers grown.” This is the grave line from Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas which begins Ruthless Jabiru’s homage to Australian poet and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal; a programme exploring Colonial race relations for the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts this weekend in London.

I will be conducting Ruthless Jabiru in a collection of new music for string orchestra inspired by Oodgeroo’s poem The Past. The poem has been set by Australian composer Andrew Ford combined with excerpts from James Cook’s diaries on encountering the Aboriginal people. For me, one of the most interesting things about this programme is the conflict with the traditional understanding of what we deem to be either old or new when it comes to music. In the context of the First Settlers discovering an unmapped continent, the music we usually think of as old: Byrd…

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Ruthless Jabiru at Union Chapel – an “evocative” programme

Originally posted at Chris Garrard:

When we reflect upon damaged landscapes, areas of environmental disaster, our focus often tends towards the political and the social. For example, the visceral nature of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been gradually displaced by arguments about compensation, accountability and pension funds in the media. The aesthetic dimension of the Gulf of Mexico spill or the Maralinga stretch of Australian desert, an area long contaminated by nuclear testing, is what shapes our initial emotional response and subsequently, how we reflect upon our relationship to the environment.

Ruthless Jabiru – London’s all-Australian chamber orchestra – are next week performing a concert at Union Chapel as a form of tribute to the latter landscape, Maralinga land in remote South Australia. The ensemble’s conductor, Kelly Lovelady, explains that she has ‘chosen a programme to evoke the loss and the chemical strangeness which has become a part of that landscape.’ Three new works are bookended by Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten. We could attach…

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High culture; a thriving market

Originally posted at Slingshot Sponsorship:

Sponsorship of the arts and ‘high culture’ is a topic that has been vehemently discussed within the industry for years.  Indeed, the industry is one that has been criticised for its choice of partners; see BP’s sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery and Shell’s long standing partnership with the Southbank Centre.  Yet, controversy aside, high culture such as the opera, ballet and classical music has a deep rooted association with large corporates.

It seems, however, that the industry is changing.  Over the past few years there has been an influx of new musicians that have begun to open younger generation’s eyes to high culture arts.  Take for example, musicians such as Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm, both of whom are classically trained, yet they appear time and time again on some of the UK’s…

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