Sunday, August 02, 2015

Music at the edge of the network


An old tech adage tells how intelligence moves to the edge of the network. So I propose a new aphorism that in the music industry, as celebrity and money migrates to the centre of the network, so intelligence in the form of creativity and innovation moves to the edge. My recent travels on the network edge have taken me to Milton Keynes to hear Andalusian Sufi music from the Al Firdaus Ensemble, and this weekend to the Southburgh Festival deep in rural Norfolk to hear Gambian kora virtuosos Sefo Kanuteh - see photo - and to take part in a sacred drumming workshop. This summer it was my pleasure to contribute the programme essay for a series of concerts celebrating Hindu music and dance at the Ouverture Spirituelle, the new festival-within-a-festival at the edge of the mainstream Salzburg Summer Festival. One of the Ouverture Spirituelle events was a sold out performance of morning ragas; those in the UK who like me could not travel to Salzburg can sample similar delights this Saturday (August 8th) in Cambridge, where the University Indian Classical Arts Society is presenting morning ragas at 10.00h in Benson Hall, Magdalene College. Something significant is stirring at the edge of the network, and my recent well-received post on the transformative power of music resonates in the Sonophilia Summer Retreat in Salzburg on August 15th. This inaugaural event, which is the brainchild of pianist Seda Röder, sets out to explore how music affects the body and mind with art, sound and mindfulness workshops. While Seda Röder is exploring one edge of the network in Austria I will be in Holland on another margin at the Sufi Path summer gathering participating in group workshops and music meditations. It's all happening around the edges of the network - watch this space for more updates.

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