In February 2015 Raw Material worked in partnership with the English National Opera and Ovalhouse to put together a combined music, drama, dance and spoken word piece inspired by the ENO’s production of The Indian Queen directed by Peter Sellars.

The final piece included stage extracts of music and text from the opera, but interwoven with music and lyrics composed by the company of young people during the project, exploring themes in the opera that resonated with the group.

Following on from the partnership project with ENO earlier in the year, here is a short documentary of the process behind the ‘Other Voices’ production based on Purcell’s ‘Indian Queen’, performed at the Karibu Centre, Brixton.

 

RAW SOUNDS features in BBC Radio 4 ‘All in the Mind’ programme.
Check out this recent interview on BBC Radio 4 ALL IN THE MIND,  featuring our RAW SOUNDS mental health project. We were nominated in 2014 for our work by ALL IN THE MIND listeners and the BBC followed up by visiting the project last week. Its the third item in the programme.

 

 

 

Raw Material’s cultural and performance tour was the highlight so far of my 2015 artistic experience. Having the opportunity to introduce the crew to the sights and sounds of New Orleans, the city I call home, was an honor.

Raw Material brought a young vibrant crew of emcees/singers who not only boasted infectious, youthful energy but impeccable songwriting and performance skills well beyond their years. The instrumental backing provided by the seasoned leadership of Raw Material was an honor to work with and has definitely left a positive impression on the individuals and organizations they interacted with while in the Crescent City.

The Raw crew began with an opening reception/meet and greet event at the historic Tekrema Center for Art and Culture, hosted by Greer Goff Mendy. Several local New Orleans musicians, performers & poets gathered to share their artistic visions and welcome the members of the Raw crew. It was a beautiful display of art with a historic New Orleans setting. As a traveler, it is important to me to experience the most genuine cultural experience in respect to the people of that area. Raw Material connected with local New Orleans musicians, renting their equipment and space for rehearsal, resulting in impromptu jam sessions and cultural lessons heard from the mouth of the New Orleanians who lived it!

After finally getting them out of the hotel, the crew dined at Neyow’s known for their authentic Creole cuisine. Raw Material began their musical journey at the Resurrection After Exonneration (RAE House) headed by John Thompson, an ex-felon exonerated after being wrongfully convicted. Raw served as the musical guests to a platform of conscious poets, during RAE House’s monthly cultural programming artistically exploring the black male identity and pride.

The next show took place at New Orleans up and coming, underground venue, Gasa Gasa, Raw showcased with several hot New Orleans hip hop bands for the RAWKUS: International Hip Hop House Party! The tour concluded with a meet the artists’ workshop  & performance at the university of New Orleans!

Again, it was such an honor to welcome the Raw Material crew to my home, and to the people that make up this city both artistically and culturally. It is amazing to have developed such a relationship with an organization, I now consider as family! I look forward to the future and many more cross cultural exchanges, such the Raw Roads International tour!

With gratitude,

Tony Wilson 

Teamvision  Entertainment

 

Raw Roads international crew are back from New Orleans, all the better for a great experience.
Playing alongside conscious political Black poets deep in the community, fantastic projects for freed prisoners who had been incorrectly imprisoned for up to 30 years, alligators deep in the swamps. Mississippi steamboats, swamp shacks, giant trucks, Mardi Gras jesters, we joined in on a track from a black and white faced clown – ‘What goes up must come down!’.
Funky brass bands on the street, in the clubs -trumpets, trombones tubas, drums in the street, music on all day and all night on steamy Frenchmen Street. They call it ‘The Big Easy’, because no ones in a rush! We jammed with local musicians in their homes, people coming and going, getting down on the drums, instruments all over the place.
We rocked it at GasaGasa club and ran workshops at the University of New Orleans followed by the hard core poets Slam and culminating with a well received set from Raw Roads. New Orleans people- really cool and friendly, very conscious, aware and political, they have a lot to say about their world in the southern states of America.

We are currently setting up for our performance tonight with the English National Opera on our project ‘Other Voices’ project at the Karibu Centre in Brixton. The young musicians from Lambeth have spent a week producing a piece based on the Opera The Indian Queen and themes around identity and culture clash – putting their own interpretation on it!