Music of Many Colours
Sat 17th December, 5.45 - 8.30pm
Event, Advance tickets £7.49
Inspired by works of Nigerian classical music composers, join us for an evening featuring a performance by the Singing Cultures Choir, a visual installation, panel discussion and drinks reception.
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Inspired by the music and life of Fela Sowande (regarded as a principle figure of Nigerian classical music) and other Nigerian composers, Music of Many Colours will feature the Singing Cultures Choir performing songs from the canon and folk songs, alongside new works. The performance will be led by British-Nigerian composer-performer Juwon Ogungbe.
Classical music was introduced to Nigeria during colonialism through missionary schools and churches which promoted Western music as superior to traditional Nigerian music. Despite this historical background there have been four generations of Nigerian composers - many studying at conservatoires in London and achieving international success - employed by organisations such as the BBC, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and universities including Lagos, Cambridge & UCLA.
Collectively, Nigerian composers’ music reconciles the impact of colonialism, remaining grounded in classical music while interweaving elements of African music, song texts and culture. Achieving this within a genre initially used to denigrate Nigerian culture has led to recognition of their work as inspiring examples of cultural reciprocity.
A panel chaired by the poet, playwright and historian Edson Burton will discuss how Nigerian classical music elevates the status of classical music to being an inclusive medium and feeds our imaginations for a better world. Speakers include Rowland Sutherland (celebrated flautist-composer), Victoria Oruwari (soprano), and Vincent Osborne (Black British Classical Foundation)
The evening will also include a sound and visual installation celebrating the music, life and legacy of Fela Sowande. Curated by Clare Moloney.
“Nigerian classical music is worthy of a bigger stage not just in terms of its achievements in the world of classical music but also its message for a ‘common humanity’. This spirit is brought to life with incredible soul and passion of sixteen people who are the Singing Cultures Choir. The audience will be inspired to imagine ‘anything is possible’.” - Bilkis Malek, Director of Transculturalvisions