Artistically directed by Nitin Sawhney
Visuals by Rob Rainbow of The Light Surgeons
Produced by Jeremy Davies and Debra King
The very first contemporary music event at Southbank Centre’s re-opened Royal Festival Hall will be an event called AFTERSHOCK LONDON, a project that will see a live performance by 16 emerging young artists and musicians, aged 16-26, artistically directed by Nitin Sawhney, with lighting design by Rob Rainbow of The Light Surgeons.
The 16 artists are being selected from more than 70 participants at a series of workshops and performances in four London venues and arts centres (Purcell Room, Southbank Centre; Watermans, Brentford; The Albany, Deptford and Arts Depot, Barnet). The chosen artists all take part in an intensive 10-day workshop at Southbank Centre, culminating in a special concert in the newly refurbished Ballroom of the re-opened Royal Festival Hall on Friday 15 June. For many of them, this will be their first performance in a major venue and it is hoped that these young artists will then continue an association with Southbank Centre, working on future projects in collaboration with other artists on the site.
Participants for the workshops across the four London venues have been chosen through recommendations from a broad range of music professionals including producers, promoters, venues, agencies, radio DJs, music colleges and Southbank Centre Resident Orchestras and Ensembles.
Nitin Sawhney, Artistic Director, Aftershock London, said: “London has always been a hotbed of exciting and diverse talent for as long as I can remember. ‘Aftershock’ has been a process designed to uncover that talent and this year is no exception. We have found MC’s, string players, folk singers, beatboxers, percussionists, R&B singers, guitarists, oud players, tabla virtuosos and more, all of an incredibly high standard. The artists involved are a constant source of inspiration and their collaborative energy and constructive celebration of diversity is a positive example to politicians, the media and all levels of society. Young, fresh, innovative and talented beyond belief”.
The selection process is almost complete (the final event will take place at North Finchley’s Arts Depot on Thursday 31 May) and we can reveal that the following artists have made it through to the final round:
Nathan ‘Flutebox’ Lee, Beatbox flautist, beatboxes and plays the flute at the same time – making Hip Hop, Drum ‘n bass and Ragga beats with his mouth while playing Indian classical, Jazz and Funk melodies on the flute. www.myspace.com/swarajmusic
Mandy Drummond, a violinist who has worked with Seb Rochford and The Nubian Vibes Ensemble. www.myspace.com/thenubianvibesensemble
MC Riz, aka Rizwan Ahmend, BEST MC winner (UK Asian Music Awards), played one of the Tipton Three in Michael Winterbottom’s acclaimed film ‘The Road to Guantanamo’ and has appeared in the Asian Dub Foundation’s ‘Gadaffi’ at the English National Opera last autumn. MC Riz is also famous for his track ‘Post 9/11 Blues’ which divided opinions at some of Britain’s leading radio stations whether it was too politically sensitive to play on air.
Catherine Anne Davies is a multi-instrumentalist who writes dark and twisted songs and who is currently recording tracks for her debut album with Paul Draper (Mansun, Skin, Komakino) www.myspace/catherineanndavies
Mico is a Japanese Laptop and Vocal artist, who works extensively as a songwriter, composer and performer. She has scored numerous Manga animated films and has just completed her new album “Phenomena of the Mind” in which she collaborated with David Cunningham (Piano),Barbara Morgenstern (Monika) and Robert Lippok of To Rococo Rot (Domino). www.myspace.com/micouk
Natasha Eleonore has been working alongside some of the most respected Afro-Cuban Rhythm Musicians such as Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez, Robby Ameen and Richie Flores and is currently working on her debut album with Catch 22 Productions. www.myspace.com/organicurban
Jason Singh, Beatboxer, percussionist, DJ and composer has collaborated with Nitin Sawhney and also features on his 2005 album, Philtre. www.myspace.com/jasonsinghmusic
Max Moya Wright is the percussionist of Ojos de Brujo. www.myspace.com/ojosdebrujo
Renee Silver is a South London based rapper who, enthralled by Hip Hop from the second she heard the beats, has been rapping relentlessly ever since. She’s free styling, writing and running and co-coordinating MC/Rap workshops for both amateurs and professionals alike.
Friday 15 June 2007, The Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm
An intensive 10-day workshop with talented young musicians and visual artists from across London culminates in this original one-off performance. Artistically directed by Nitin Sawhney, with visuals from the Light Surgeons.
Nitin Sawhney said: “AFTERSHOCK was an idea that began from a commission to work with local community artists at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002. This week long residency was intended to exemplify and represent the cultural diversity of the games by staging a series of events and workshops incorporating innovative global sounds and ideas. The Aftershock events are a continuation of this idea, and centre on an intensive and consecutive set of workshops with local and international musicians culminating in an original 60-minute group performance to a sell-out audience. I remain privileged to be the Artistic Director of Aftershock, which has grown tremendously since 2002 and has since been hosted in a range of locations including Australia, Germany and some of the UK’s major cities.
“When Jude Kelly approached the Aftershock team and myself to stage AFTERSHOCK LONDON over four different venues, in collaboration with the Southbank Centre, I was extremely excited. At a time when prominent politicians are challenging race relations and cultural diversity, or using tenuous arguments to justify war and the promotion of mistrust across the globe, I feel very motivated to demonstrate the potential of artistic collaboration in my home city of London. Our intention is to produce a series of preparatory performances from which we will distil a core group of artists who will go on to perform at this year’s re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall. Artists from a range of different skills, experiences, opinions and perspectives will join together to find a common voice and explore themes decided upon by themselves. These performers will in turn be offered Residencies at Southbank Centre as Associate Artists in order to continue their work with the catalytic energy of their original creative process.
“The collaborative essence of Aftershock retains an exemplary spirit that presents a hopeful vision for the future.”