Looking forward to the journey!
I’m delighted to be working with the TestBeds Programme this year. It has been great getting to know my fellow artists and to map out a plan for collaboration in completely unexpected directions!
I’m primarily a Western Classical Conductor – but an unusual one – I’ve been on an unconventional journey into the world of sound – the violinist Yehudi Menuhin introduced me to Indian music and in particular the music of Pandit Ravi Shankar, and suddenly a whole new landscape of sound was opened up, waiting to be explored. This journey has taken me to the musical heart of ancient India, opening up the world of Nada Yoga – the yoga of sound and music. I have been known to use these yoga techniques with orchestras in order to enable their musicians to get deeply in touch with the power of sound.
I’m really interested in the role of music as a tool for enabling creativity and cohesion in societies, especially in “super diverse” towns and cities such as Luton, and this is one of the strands I will be developing through TestBeds. During the last few days beatboxer Oz Azubuine and fine art textile artist Nicola Moody and I have been mapping out genre-busting projects. Watch this space!
Orchestras now interact with a global audience and, thankfully, an increasingly diverse audience. I believe passionately that orchestras are a dynamic force for good in society and have a vital role to play. In a globalised but increasingly remote technological world they create genuine human contact: creating shared emotional experiences and a shared understanding between diverse groups of people. My role as an artist is to enable the connections to deepen this process. Through the TestBeds programme, I’m looking forward to seeing how far this can go!