Saturday 21st August, 14.00 Woven Gold
Annie Blaber /Jessica Maryon-Davies/ The music group at the Helen Bamber Foundation
Woven Gold is a group of musicians seeking refuge from human rights violations in their own countries – Burma, Congo, Guinea, Iran, Kenya, Kurdistan, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Uganda. They collaborate with outstanding international musicians to create their own compositions and perform. They will perform a collection of their songs; from their recent album Much More Than Metal, new songs and works-in-progress for a piece entitled Consider the Lillies.
Woven Gold, set up in 2007, is a self selecting group of refugees fleeing persecution that meets weekly with musicians who donate their time to arrange songs from their own countries compose and perform. For Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2010 they will perform songs from their album Much More Than Metal, premiere songs they have written this year, and work in progress for the cantata Consider the Lilies.
They launched their album Much More Than Metal at the Roundhouse in December 2009. They have performed at the British Museum, The Young Vic, and in 2010 in The City of London Festival and the Hackney World Music Festival.
In November 2010 Woven Gold will perform a dramatic cantata, Consider the Lilies, which they inspired and are involved in creating with composer John Barber and writer Peter Cann. Celebrating resilience, courage and creativity in the face of despair, the premiere will feature, alongside Woven Gold, counter tenor Michael Chance, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, baritone Omar Ebrahim and mezzo soprano Yolanda Grant-Thompson. Howard Moody will conduct the concert with his orchestra, La Folia, the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields and the New Foundling Choir made up of Camden primary school children. Woven Gold is part of a Creative Arts Programme set up by the Helen Bamber Foundation, which believes that creative interaction is an integral part of the therapeutic process.
„We are all outcast people; we are not allowed to do anything. But in Woven Gold we have a sense of belonging. I feel it‟s my place; I am part of a community. I can feel a sense of achievement. I feel so alive when I am with the group.‟ Humera, from Pakistan
„Woven Gold gives you a family, you are happy when you are with the group, and that encourages you in life.‟ Barrie, from Guinea-Conakry
WOVEN GOLD is a group of musicians seeking refuge from human rights violations in their own countries – Burma, Congo, Guinea, Iran, Kenya, Kurdistan, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. They collaborate with outstanding international musicians to create their own compositions and perform. They will perform a collection of their songs, some from their recent album Much More Than Metal, new songs and works-in-progress for a piece entitled Consider the Lillies.
Music & Words: Woven Gold
Composer & Keyboards: John Barber
Composer & Guitar: Jack Ross
Percussion: Genevieve Wilkins
Performers: Woven Gold, the music group at the Helen Bamber Foundation
John Barber, composer, keyboard and gamelan player, is a founder member and leader of Woven Gold. Recent projects and commissions include a new oratorio based on Hansel and Gretel with Glyndebourne Opera, The Last Genie – a collaborative theatre piece with the Royal Opera House, Dance for oboe and piano, A Winged Spark for female chorus, premiered at the South Bank Centre, Rapunzel, a community opera and Songs of Innocence and Experience – a work for ensemble, soprano and Tower Hamlets school children based the poetry of William Blake. Collaboration is a central feature of John’s work, which encompasses work with professional singers and orchestras as well as with non-professionals for, among others, Spitalfields Festival, Wigmore Hall, and Opera North. He performs and records with Woven Gold and his band firefly.
Jack Ross, composer, guitarist and percussionist, is a founder member and leader of Woven Gold. As a composer Jack has been commissioned to write pieces for sinfonia ViVA, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera House and City of London Sinfonia amongst others. He has performed with Marianne Faithful, John Surman and Herbie Flowers, at many major venues and
festivals nationally and internationally, and performs and records with Woven Gold and his band firefly. Jack is committed to education work, leading creative song-writing and instrumental workshops with organisations including Spitalfields Festival, Wigmore Hall, The Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Opera, Royal Academy of Music, and Aldeburgh Festival.
Genevieve Wilkins, an Australian born freelance percussionist based in London, is also a founder of Woven Gold. She is a member of “ensemblebash”, UK‟s premiere percussion ensemble as well as a founding member of “The G Project”, an exciting new collaboration with cellist Gabriella Swallow. Genevieve also performs regularly with composer Andrew Poppy‟s “Sustaining Ensemble”, Dekata Project and has recently joined the band of jazz/world bassist Nathan Riki Thomson. As a session musician, she has performed with and/or recorded with Lionel Richie, Akon, Joanna MacGregor, Nash Ensemble, Karen David, DJ Panko (Ojos de Brujo), DJ Pathaan, Alex Wilson, Gavin Bryars, Steve Schick and was a founding member of renowned flamenco fusion group Alcazaba. www.genevievewilkins.com