Level Playing Field Symposium

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conference symposium

Guildhall Livery Hall

Saturday 7 July, 10.00 – 17.30

A symposium on the development of musical opportunities, aesthetics, and instrument technology for musicians of all physicalities.

Participants include Clarence Adoo and the Headspace EnsembleDrake MusicRolf GehlhaarGuildhall School of Music and DramaStephen Langridgethe London Symphony OrchestraFrank LyonsNigel OsbornePeter RenshawShare Music SwedenSkoogmusic and other experts from the fields of music, arts, education, and disability.

The day includes presentations, panel discussions, performances, and refreshments.

09.30   Registration & coffee

10.00   Introduction & welcome

Ian Ritchie, Director, City of London Festival, introduces some of the major concepts that shall be explored throughout the day, including:

– Professional integration – creating spaces for the artistic expression of musicians of different abilities – addressing and changing attitudes

– Unblocking education and career pathways – building new ones

– Aesthetics – in quest of beauty and art-form development

– Technology – new instruments and techniques

10.30   Case Study: Dawn at Galamanta

Christian Lindberg (composer, conductor), Christer Abrahamsson (musician) and Sophia Alexandersson (producer) for Share Music Sweden introduce their award-winning Dawn at Galamanta project which was created and developed with artists of all physicalities from throughout Sweden over a period of two years and first performed in August 2009. The UK premiere will have taken place in Guildhall Great Hall the evening before this symposium. 

– The creative process (with musical demonstrations as appropriate)

– Overcoming obstacles: Share Music’s work in Sweden and the wider context 

– Audience responses

11.20   Coffee

11.40   Skoog Performance

Helen Douthwaite & Lauren McCormick (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), with John Kenny (trombone)

– New work devised for Skoogs

12.00    Performance & Instrumental Development

Session chaired by Carien Meijer, Director of Drake Music, with contributions by Benjamin Schögler (Skoogmusic), Clarence Adoo (musician, Headspace), Charlotte White (musician, Drake Music), Rolf Gehlhaar (composer and technologist) and Sophia Alexandersson (Share Music Sweden).

– Demonstrations of new and established instruments and technologies, discussions of models, and examples of how they are currently being used successfully – including Skoog, Headspace, eye-sound and others

– Posing the question of whether it is true and, if so, why ‘classical music’ has not encouraged much evolution of instruments over the past 100 years, in contrast to other genres – a thought to take to lunch

– Q & A

13.00   Lunch

13.45   Performance by Headspace Ensemble

Clarence Adoo (Headspace), Torbjorn Hultmark (trumpet), John Kenny (trombone) & Chris Wheeler (sound projection)   

– John Kenny Headspace Fanfare

– Nigel Osborne Love and Money (second performance)

14.20   Composition & Art Form Development

Session chaired by Dr. Helena Gaunt, Assistant Principal, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, with contributions by Professor Frank Lyons (composer and teacher, University of Ulster), Kathryn McDowell (Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra) and Professor Nigel Osborne (composer and teacher, University of Edinburgh)

– New instruments and technologies: new frontiers, aesthetics, and beauty in composition

– Creating new pathways and opportunities for disabled musicians via repertoire and ensemble development

– Q & A

15.40   Tea

16.00   Audience Development

Closing session chaired by Peter Renshaw, a strategist in music education, participation and professional development, with contributions by Tony Heaton (artist and CEO, Shape), Marc Brew (choreographer and dancer), Carien MeijerHelena GauntStephen Langridge (opera director and workshop leader)

– Summary of discussions and way forward

– Professional integration of disabled artists in music: audience development – becoming part of the ‘mainstream’ in music – successful models in other performing arts

– Q & A

17.30   Close

In partnership with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Drake Music, Share Music Sweden, and The Musical Brain

Cost: £95 (including refreshments). Admission includes a ticket to the Dawn at Galamanta/Christian Lindberg concert in Guildhall on Friday, 6 July. (Student and disabled concessions available for £55 – please phone the box office on 0845 120 7502 to book tickets).

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