We were all knocked out by the YOUTHSAYERS project and are pleased to have hosted this exemplary music project at Raw Material. Lead musician Robin Hopcraft and his team from the Soothsayers band provided over 20 aspiring and clearly talented young musicians aged 10 to 16 with really high quality tuition and guidance over a ten week course, that culminated in three concerts, all full to capacity, with a final knock out show with the Soothsayers at the Lambeth Country Show festival main stage. This project has paved the way to harnessing and developing  the talent in Lambeth through ensemble playing and getting to grips with Afrobeat music, inspired by the legacy of Nigerian master Fela Kuti. We are proud to be able to continue to support the project over the next 10 weeks enabling the current and next cohort of brass players, drummers, bass, guitar and keyboard players to go to the next level. Inspiring yes, energising yes, talent yes!

Bring it on Youthsayers!

A new piece inspired by Janacek’s opera JENUFA, created by ENO youth company in partnership with Raw Material and Brixton Youth Theatre.

An truly amazing production – achieved in only five days at the spacious studios in West Hampstead north London.  A cast of 50 young people came from all over London, including our own Brixton crew and members from our Instrumental Zone music project, with a Raw Material musician working alongside the ENO team.

The group were able to explore Janacek’s music and themes from the opera Jenufa – that explored the secrets we may keep and what happens when the truth is revealed, a pertinent topic at the present time- and to create their own original interpretations of the theme, to write, devise and perform. An incredible production and experience for these emerging young performers.

This is our third collaboration with the ENO and its just gets better each time!

 News from Raw Material

NEW ARTS NIJMEGEN– This week Raw head out to Nijmegen in the Netherlands to meet up with New Arts, an innovatory arts organisation.

We are joined by our Croatian and Italian partners for this initial get together prior to the 2016 ‘Creative Lab’  ERASMUS+ project. The Raw group and partners will be spending two days in Nijmegen and going on an ‘Art Tour’ to Den Hague with the New Arts project team.
Creative Lab aims to explore and share best practice in arts work with young people in a European context. Pilot work took place in 2015 in Turin Italy in a mental health setting.
GRIT SCHOOL kicks off on Monday. This is a six week project for young musicians to gain industry awareness through a series of masterclasses and hands on sessions in the studio. Run with partners SGS,  a new Lambeth group that works with schools, this project is a first for SGS and Raw Material is pleased to provide the support to such projects that share resources, expertise and create increased access to high quality experiences for young people.
YOUTHSAYERS – funded by a Grants for the Arts award, this project will provide a different kind of experience for young musicians. It starts this Wednesday with members from the Soothsayers Afro Beat collective, headed up by horn maestro Robin Hopcraft. Young musicians  will spend several weeks honing their craft across all instruments towards a final concert.
BIG LOCAL ‘PRODUCTION HOUSE– A Youth forum is taking place this week in preparation for the next Production House project that launches on 19 April. The project runs for 10 weeks, covers music production, live sound, radio, DJ skills, graphic design, marketing and promotion and culminates in a performance event.
ENO– the Raw team and community partners meet up this week with ENO Baylis team to review the recent highly successful ‘Millions of Years’ performance at the British Museum of Philip Glass opera ‘Akhnaten’ and discuss new plans for collaborations later in the year.
BUILDING BEATS– Plans have been under way this week to visit Building Beats, an exemplary New York based youth music organisation, with a view to developing an international partnership, following our visit in late September.
FINAL TOUCHES– completing our Strategic capital grant funded renovation of the centre, we hang the final commissioned art work from artist Laila B,  a total of 8 large canvasses were commissioned.
EVALUATION- We review the last 12 weeks of the RAW SOUNDS mental health programme, which culminated in a capacity event with spectacular live music at POW club Brixton, all filmed by the Community Channel. A new project will be starting with Tate Modern in May using photography and design for music album art work.
ROCCHA Seminar- Effectively Measuring Impact- The well attended seminar from ROCCHA is helping to pave the way to both understanding and measuring real impact in our work. A further session is planned for May.
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