A big thank you to the Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Fund in association with the Harriet’s Trust for choosing ‘Musical Rainbow Project’ as one of its award recipients!
The Musical Rainbow Project is run by myself together with a group of musicians and performing artists whose aim is to be a beacon of hope and joy through their uniquely devised concerts, breaking boundaries to bring (classical) music closer to the hearts of the listeners and performers. We experiment with our programming, and with different ways of presenting the music through collaboration with other arts. We draw inspiration as we learn from each other, through exercising our individual musical and performing skills as well as sharing our interests, knowledge and crafts.
The result? Never a dull moment!
The seed of this project began during the pandemic, when all of us were faced with isolation, when hope seemed to be an intangible reality and the future was (as it still is) nowhere to be seen. Being ‘creative’ as musicians and performing artists during those kinds of circumstances was particularly challenging (and even extremely difficult for some), but it was also a big learning curve in ‘thinking outside the box’ in the way we do and present our arts, and the way we appreciate life. The ‘Rainbow’ in the name of this project (unintentionally coinciding with the rainbow of the NHS logo) is taken from the story of Noah’s ark, when the rainbow appears as a sign of hope and fidelity from God after the disastrous flood.
Thanks to the Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Fund in association with the Harriet’s Trust in 2021, I truly felt encouraged to turn the idea of this Musical Rainbow Project into reality and started to design a series of concerts to bring hope and joy through music.
The invaluable support from the RPS Enterprise Fund has not only helped this project to acquire some crucial technological equipment, producing some props for the concerts, supporting me in acquiring new technology and language skills and giving appreciation to the musicians and collaborators in our concerts, but also, more importantly, it has given me and others working with me the confidence to go ahead in pursuing this dream!
Project #1: Quo Vadis “Where Are You Going” – South East London version
The inspiration behind the theme of this concert is ‘walking’. Yes, our day-to-day walk in the street, to our workplace, to the stations, the hustle and bustle of our daily life which often leaves us little time for reflection. What happens if we take the day-to-day noise away and then go for a walk? What will we see and hear? Do we know where are we going?
We were also grateful for the support of Fr John Pritchard (Vicar) at St John the Evangelist Upper Norwood Church for hosting the concert. St John the Evangelist was a magnificent space with beautiful architecture. It also allowed us to present the concert in an unusual seating arrangement and to display around the church pictures from our own photograph collections that we had specially chosen to accompany the musical programme.
Project #2 : Quo Vadis “Where Are You Going” – Lombok, Indonesia version
Encouraged by the success of Quo Vadis in Upper Norwood, as travel restrictions eased in the middle of 2022, a friend of ours in Lombok mentioned the possibility of staging ‘Quo Vadis’ in Lombok, Indonesia. We kept the ‘walking’ theme, but created narration, soundscape and choice of musical programme to suit the Lombok audience. It was exciting to see how ‘universal’ a language music is, and also to see how we can embrace different cultural traditions in a positive way. Here Imma and Nigel (piano duet) were joined by Gill Westaway (narrator) and Budi Hastono (sound production). Mataram’s very own ‘Semelemele String Quartet’ also took part at the event.
We were also grateful for the support of the Sheraton Hotel Senggigi for hosting this event (dinner followed by concert) in their beautiful venue, literally next to the coast.
We have our first digital offering under way, Project #3: Inspired by Father’s Day (watch the space), with music for flute and piano as well as piano four hands.
Project #4: Quo Vadis – Christmas Specials! Following the very positive feedback we received from Quo Vadis, before we launch our new theme project for 2023, we are planning to stage this programme again in Central London, Christmas version. So, if you didn’t manage to catch us in South East London last May, this will be your chance!