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Premiere of Rachel Beckles Willson’s ‘Sing no Sad Songs for Me’

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Premiere of Rachel Beckles Willson’s ‘Sing no Sad Songs for Me’

  • Date15 June 2018

The premiere performance of the cross-cultural work will take place in London on 30 June as part of a programme exploring the extraordinary changes through which Europe is living today.

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Details of the performance can be found here.

The work draws on Rachel’s Leverhulme Trust-sponsored research in migration. It combines poetry of the 19th-century Italian-English Christina Rossetti with sounds from the edges of the British Empire: the Indian tabla, the eastern lutes (oud and tanbur), and the musical language of microtonal modality. Edward W. Said proposed that writers on 19th-century Europe should connect with the people that it tried to exclude from itself, those in Africa, Asia and the Americas subjected to the control of Empire. ‘Sing no Sad Songs for Me’ is a similar response, but in music: it brings sounds from the edges of Empire to words curated in the secluded centre.

On the same programme Rachel will present her work with asylum-seekers on the Southern edges of Europe developed in the project Today is Good! This ongoing work is at the heart of Rachel’s interest in rethinking Europe, and European subjectivies.

Rachel is Professor of Music at Royal Holloway.

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