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Issue 6110

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Grimethorpe in musical fusion project

Saturday 4 September, 2021

A new musical collaboration has been brought to life featuring Grimethorpe Colliery Band, composer Liz Lane and band RSVP Bhangra.

Surtaal Celebrates is supported by the PRS For Music and celebrates the return of live music making, combined with the “virtual” style of music making which proved popular with performers and audiences worldwide throughout lockdown.

The launch video for the project was released recently and features Grimethorpe, together with Surtaal co-writers RSVP Bhangra; soprano Belinda Evans; a vocal quartet of The Guards Chapel, London; the Carducci String Quartet; and Darius Battiwalla and the organ of Leeds Town Hall.

David Thornton, musical director of Grimethorpe Colliery Band, said: “Surtaal Celebrates seeks to represent the delight which all music makers across the UK and wider world feel being able to once again make music live together again, and also celebrates the new found global connectivity which online music-making has given us, and was such a lifeline to many throughout the lockdown period.”

The project is set to spread its wings even further and musicians from across the UK and beyond are being invited to get involved. A range of free resources, including sheet music, backing tracks and more, are now available online via the Grimethorpe Colliery Band website, for individuals and groups to download, perform, record and contribute to the project.

Any instrument or voice is welcome, with contributed videos adding to the celebration of the return of live music. Videos are being collected over the coming weeks, via easyvirtualchoir. com, with a final massed showcase presentation being released online, to coincide with the Diwali celebrations on Thursday, November 4.

David continued: “It’s been a pleasure for Grimethorpe to work on this project together with Liz, RSVP and all who contributed to the project launch video. We hope the project will inspire others to join us in celebrating this moment and to contribute their own videos to the project. We look forward to the final massed presentation in November and to returning to live making music across the UK and wider from this autumn.”

Composer Liz Lane stated: “I love new collaborations and ideas; it has been fantastic to work with Grimethorpe Colliery Band on this exciting and innovative project which combines so many musical forces live and remote, incorporating the vibrant music of my friends RSVP Bhangra. My thanks go out to all involved from far and wide and I can't wait to hear how additional musicians choose join in over the next few weeks – we already have harps, handbells and a Spanish barbershop choir.”

Speaking on behalf of RSVP Bhangra, Dildar Singh said: “We have come together to synergise creative innovations. These spirits in this current time of change, bring together a variety of live music environments. In addition, the project utilises technology to communicate and share with musicians across the world. These musicians share music and a message to the world, we are one world, so let’s share love peace and respect love for everyone.”

Resources are at the Grimethorpe Colliery Band website.