Our Learning & Participation Programme Director, Clare Lovett shares with us some of her favourite places in the area.
For thinking, meetings and catching up with friends: Skylight Cafe
I’m always on the lookout for great meeting spots, and I’ve recently discovered the fantastic Crisis Skylight Cafe on Commercial Street. The cafe is just beyond the hustle and bustle of the market, and has plenty of space to spread out! They have amazing coffee and cakes; lunch here is also delicious! Recent meetings have included discussions with potential Associate Artists and there’s usually a whole bundle of folks catching up and planning projects. It’s an inspirational space, which also happens to provide on-the-job training and experience for homeless people and ex-offenders. If you’re in need of a still point in a mad world of shopping, sightseeing or planning your next project, then Crisis Skylight Cafe is your thinking place.
For people watching, chilling out at lunch and spotting interesting Art: Bishops Square
There’s always something going on at Bishops Square. On the rare occasion that I can pause for lunch, it’s my top place to sit and watch the world go by. Recent activity has included a new installation of butterflies in jam jars, with confuses city workers and tourists trying to work out whether they’re real or not (they’re not)…the wonderful Spitalfields E1 Routemaster is often parked outside and there’s a real sense of relaxation before the onslaught of the afternoon stint of work. Grab a falafel wrap from Pilpel, or a hot sandwich from Golds and watch the world in microcosm!
Posted in Favourite Places, Local Area & Community, Staff Picks
Tagged Bishops Square, Bishopsgate Sq, comunity event, favourite places, my favourite place for..., neighbourhood songs, spitalfields music, Spitalfields Music winter festival, Spitalfields Singers, staff pick, winter festival, winter festival 2011
As the Winter Festival draws ever closer, Marketing & Box Office Assistant, Michael Duffy, shares why he thinks Gallicantus’s Dialogues of Sorrow is one of the unmissable events this festival.
So, Gallicantus may be one of this festival’s lesser known artists, but are most definitely one of the most unmissable! Their early-seventeenth century programme is taken from a period of national mourning (for Henry, Prince of Wales) that has probably never been matched or produced such a large extraordinary outpouring of grief-stricken and wholly beautiful music.
What is also striking is the sheer variety of what emerged (as the selection for this concert demonstrates), with lute songs such as John Coprario’s O Grief, lamenting madrigals like Tis Now the Dead Night by Thomas Ford and sacred anthems using texts describing King David’s loss of his son Absalom. Some of the works may be familiar, but many won’t and are a treat to discover.
Gallicantus deliver this with ease and clarity – do check out their tracks on our Spotify Winter Festival playlist (some of which are in their Dialogues of Sorrow programme).
Gallicantus perform on Thursday 15 December, 7.00pm at Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s). Book your tickets online.
Posted in Festival, Staff Picks
Tagged dialogues of sorrow, gallicantus, john coprario, King David, michael duffy, shoreditch church, Spotify, staff pick, Thomas Ford, winter festival 2011
Bringing you their own personal festival favourite this week is Sylvain Malburet, our very own Development Manager.
After a few days of friendly jostling with an EU-related application for funding, nothing will soothe me more than seeing cultural Europe in action. I have heard so much about the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO), and look forward to seeing talented young musicians from all over Europe perform a range of German and Italian music that moves away from the baroque style, and starts to reorder musical priorities. Though I must confess, J.S. Bach is one of my favourite composers… I am no expert in baroque music but feel extremely attracted to the balance and symmetry in his compositions (if you want to read more on this, see the late pianist S Richter’s comments in ‘The Enigma’). In their concert, EUBO will be interpreting J.S. Bach’s Suite No.2, BWV 1067, and I can hardly wait!
Join Sylvain at A Breath of Enlightenment on Saturday 17 December at 7.00pm at Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s). Tickets start from £5.00 and you can book online via our website.
Read more about EUBO’s programme.
Listen to EUBO and items from their programme in our Winter Festival Spotify playlist.
We asked members of the Spitalfields Music team to pick out a Winter Festival event that they are feeling particularly excited about. This week, Ellie Folkes, Programme Manager: Festivals , tells us all about Duncan Chapman’s laptop orchestra.
The other day I enjoyed a mid-afternoon escape from the office and popped into Canon Barnet primary school, which is tucked away just behind Toynbee Hall on Commercial Street. I found my way into Class 6 just in time to catch the last bit of a workshop session led by the wonderful electronic composer Duncan Chapman. The excitable 10 year olds were masterfully using laptops and special music software that transformed the regular keyboard keys into sounds ranging from whales to trombones. I watched as selected few took it in turns to ‘conduct’ the laptop orchestra by holding up different letters, as the rest of the class hit the relevant keys, followed the directions and a cacophony of polyphony ensued! This was indeed a true test of how successfully one can control a room of kids – and I must say I was massively impressed by the children’s level of attention and self restraint!
Class 6 will be having several more of these workshops over the coming weeks, in lead up to the laptop orchestra’s debut performance at Open Ears on Wednesday 14 December at Shoreditch Church. The concert is all about exploring and challenging notions of what it is to be a composer, and will include not only the laptop orchestra, but also performances on more traditional instruments such as piano, horn and (very excitingly) the shakuhachi – a 13th century Japanese bamboo flute traditionally used by Buddhist monks as a spiritual tool. Come along – it’s fun AND free! The intention is that the concert will not only encourage you to explore the church and its beautiful acoustics, but also to become inspired by the possibilities of composition and to open your ears to all the sounds that surround you.
Open Ears is free to attend, however booking is required – call our box office on 020 7377 1362 reserve your place for this exciting family event!
Posted in Festival, Learning & Participation, Spitalfields Music, Staff Picks
Tagged Canon Barnet, community, duncan chapman, Ellie Folkes, laptop orchestra, Learning & Participation, open ears, shakuhachi, shoreditch church, spitalfields, staff pick, toynbee hall, winter festival, winter festival 2011