Kelly Lovelady on peace, reappropriation and new music for string orchestra

Originally posted on The Sampler Blog:

Kelly LoveladyPeace and I are strangers grown. This is the grave line from Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas which begins Ruthless Jabiru’s homage to Australian poet and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal; a programme exploring Colonial race relations for the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts this weekend in London.

I will be conducting Ruthless Jabiru in a collection of new music for string orchestra inspired by Oodgeroo’s poem The Past. The poem has been set by Australian composer Andrew Ford combined with excerpts from James Cook’s diaries on encountering the Aboriginal people. For me, one of the most interesting things about this programme is the conflict with the traditional understanding of what we deem to be either old or new when it comes to music. In the context of the First Settlers discovering an unmapped continent, the music we usually think of as old: Byrd…

View original 432 more words

The past is all around us

I will be conducting Ruthless Jabiru and countertenor Russell Harcourt at the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts this month in London. Our performance on 31 May will honour Australian poet and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal through a programme  of British and Australian music for string orchestra by Andrew Ford, Michael Tippett, Tansy Davies, Chris Williams and Egidija Medekšaité. Booking is now open through the festival website.

Portfolio assets

Here’s an interview I recorded a few months ago at Ruthless Jabiru’s first Portfolio composer workshop. I talk about my ideas in starting the orchestra and our partnership with Sound and Music, the national agency for new music and sound art. I’ll be posting more footage from the workshop at my Vimeo channel in anticipation of our next session later in the month.

InterFACE

20131117-032534.jpg

I recently took part in a visual arts collaboration between painter Philip Groom and photographer Jason Ashwood. I was invited to sit for a series of portraits by both artists, and the painted and photographic images are now to be merged into a single artwork for an exhibition next month in West London. All are welcome to attend a private view at The Gallery, 54 Shepherd Market, Mayfair on Monday 4 November from 17:00-20:00. The exhibition will run for the remainder of the week.

Neo-funk mixtape

I was invited to write a guest post for Sound and Music’s blog The Sampler to pique the interest of the New music community for my programme last week with Ruthless Jabiru and Lara St. John. I put together a playlist by composers Matthew Hindson, Paul Stanhope and Linda Buckley, and with some interjections by our soloist Lara, to set up some of the sounds listeners could expect to hear at our performance. It was reported by Sound and Music that my playlist was well received and well trafficked, and lots of composers were spotted in our audience so hopefully I’ve managed to draw a few more people into this fantastic repertoire.

Art with wings

Held alongside the Australia exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, the next London performance by my orchestra Ruthless Jabiru at the Union Chapel on 14 October will also cite the Australian visual arts, with promotional artwork by Sarah Hickey and programme artwork by Jessie Boylan.

The music show

I was recently invited to do an interview for The Music Show on ABC Radio National. I talked to Andrew Ford about Ruthless Jabiru, my love of commissioning, and my ideas for the future of the orchestra. The interview was broadcast last Saturday in Australia and is now available online as a podcast.