I want to let you in…

Posted: November 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

I uploaded a load of extracts from things I’ve been doing recently. Mostly it’s improvisations. I have a tendency to hold onto things and come up with grand plans of perfection and I’m trying to let go of that and see what happens. So here’s me just playing and experimenting on piano, drums, clarinet, keyboards, tape…

This is my last video for the fundraiser I’ve been doing. If you’ve just come across this, I am part of a charity called Play for Progress, which delivers therapeutic and educational music and arts programmes, advocacy, and well-being support for traumatised and socially-isolated unaccompanied minor refugees and asylum-seekers. My main role is as a percussion teacher and I’ve been doing this fundraiser to purchase new percussion for my weekly workshop with the young people there. If you can share or support this, please check it out here. Thank you so much!

Recorded live in Leeds with violinist John Garner, this is an entirely improvised performance. Back in January we played a duo set and John happened to record it. We’re happy with how it sounded and we’ve decided to release it as a live album download, with all income going to Safe Passage and Stop Ecocide Foundation. If you purchase this today, as part of Bandcamp Friday, then every penny you give when downloading this will go to the two charities. After that all the proceeds after Bandcamp’s cut goes to them.

Aria for #SetOperaFree

Posted: July 14, 2020 in Uncategorized

As part of #SetOperaFree I was asked to write an aria for an online opera project. You can watch this below. It was written for tenor vocalist Andrew Clarke in a project conceived and coordinated by musician and director Aga Serugo-Lugo. Both Aga and Andrew are Black British artists working in classical music, a sector in which People of Colour are still massively underrepresented, so I felt very privileged to have an opportunity to work with them on this project.

I worked in collaboration with Andrew to devise a libretto and then wrote the aria for him to sing. We worked remotely and Andrew recorded the vocal part on his phone, and his wife filmed him, which I then edited for the video you see below. I also recorded the piano part. That was a first for me.

The way that we devised the libretto came from a week of emailing stream of conscious poetry to each other line by line, and this guided the narrative and words that I eventually wrote. The week we were emailing was the start of the Black Lives Matter protests. The character Andrew portrays is an ancient god that gives up his powers and immortality to return to earth in an attempt to restore peace and order.

JustGiving Fundraiser

Posted: July 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

Here’s a video I put together as part of my campaign to raise money for new percussion for the autumn term with Play for Progress at the Refugee Council in Croydon. I am part of a team delivering therapeutic and educational music and arts programmes, advocacy, and well-being support for traumatised and socially-isolated unaccompanied minor refugees. The main thing I do is percussion workshops and when lockdown lifts and we can finally be together again in September your support will provide new African, Middle Eastern percussion and parts needed to complete our drum kit.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE THROUGH MY JUSTGIVING PAGE

Refugee Week

Posted: June 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

Screenshot 2020-06-17 at 18.39.05This week is Refugee Week and a chance for me to shine a light on a charity I work with called Play for Progress. PfP delivers therapeutic and educational music and arts programmes, advocacy, and well-being support for traumatised and socially-isolated unaccompanied minor refugees and asylum-seekers. I am so proud to be a member of the team, delivering music workshops and working closely with a big group of young people that continue to inspire me despite our limited contact time during this period. Scroll down for links…

CLICK HERE to listen to an interview that Anna MacDonald (one of PfP’s cofounders) and I gave with Qualified Tutor podcast. Or search on all podcast hosts for that one too.

Follow Play for Progress on Facebook for up-to-date resources and news.

This is a video from visual artist Dima Karout for PfP’s young people and YOU to participate in…

 

This is a post from one of our young people…

 

And another…

 

And this is from a mural that many of the young people took part in in collaboration with the Museum of Croydon, led by artist Atma

 

Finally, here is a list of books and resources you may be interested in provided by the Refugee Week wesbite.

I am a fifth generation immigrant. My family came to the UK on foot from far Eastern Europe, escaping the pogroms. If it weren’t for the opportunities they were given to start anew in this country, my life would be very different. My work with Play for Progress allows me to give back to the next generation of humans that have arrived in this country. They say the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, and the next best time is now.

 

Clickbait: Improvisation #1

Posted: September 20, 2019 in Uncategorized

Selected footage from a week’s residency at The Institute, Wales…