Friday, July 25, 2008

at the border

Moira+I attended an incredibly impressive musical evening at St Mary Redcliffe Church last night with great friends Merry-Carol, Gerry, Alan+Gareth (their daughter Iona was performing). The music featured words from pupils at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple Schools using ideas from Michael Tippett’s “Dance, Clarion, Air” (the effects of ethnic hatred and violence) based on the theme of refugees. As well as choirs and orchestra made up from local schools plus excellent soloists, the performance also included the BBC Singers (who were quite brilliant).
However, for me, the real stars of the evening were Cecilia Ndlovu and Sibusiso Mhlamga. These women left Zimbabwe as refugees and have subsequently made their homes in Bristol. Their experiences and music inspired aspects of the piece and they’d worked with the children during the course of the project. The evening started with them singing unaccompanied in the nave of the church and finished with all the assembled singers chanting words in a similar vein (and filling the building with a really wonderful sound!): “Senzeni na kulelizwe, senzeni na kulendawo” (which I think means something like “what have we done… to deserve this?”?).
Incredibly powerful music.


just Gai said...

Glad you enjoyed the evening.

Anonymous said...

It's very heartening to read your comments and know that the piece worked for people not directly connected with it. Many thanks,

Ed Davies
(SMRT School Music Dept.)