Creative Voucher Scheme
Academy of Ancient Music and Royal Holloway
Simon Fairclough, Academy of Ancient Music
Dr Stephen Rose, Royal Holloway, University of London
Music, mobility and the Mediterranean melting-pot: a new concert repertoire for the Academy of Ancient Music
From the 17th century onwards African musicians had been brought to European courts, whilst European merchants went to Africa and documented the music they heard. Italian and German composes even incorporated exotic African and Ottoman elements into their music. For this Creative Voucher project Dr Stephen Rose of Royal Holloway, University of London was paired with Simon Fairclough of the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) in order to develop a new concert repertoire based upon the historic cross-fertilisation of European and North African cultures in the 18th century.
The partnership resulted in two main outputs, new compositions and a publication, collectively titled The Grand Tour: Venice & The Mediterranean. The compositions set Vivaldi’s music in juxtaposition with the sound of the oud, a stringed Arabic instrument, in order to evoke the ethnic and cultural diversity of Vivaldi’s Venetian environment, re-capturing the exoticism of the time.
Twice the compositions were performed to audiences, at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge on the 13th of May 2015, and at Milton Court in the Barbican, London, on the 14th of May 2015. The concert in Cambridge was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Together the concerts had an approximate attendance of 600 people. The publication presented supporting research, including an essay by Dr Rose exploring the musical crossovers between the Ottoman and Italian worlds.
Beyond these results the partnership has offered Royal Holloway’s Music Department the hands on experience of planning and programming musical concerts, an invaluable experience.
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