Loving Vincent Trailer

I’ve always loved Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. His psychedelic brush strokes instantly struck a cord with me the first time I encountered his work. Like countless others, I also believed I could relate to his struggles as an artist. I fell for the popular image—the iconic figure of the tortured artistic soul—which is no doubt a caricature of the man, a cartoon that has been (re)constructed and (re)presented to render him the poster boy for unrequited love, mental illness, and suicide. As I’ve matured I’ve learned to reject all such stereotypes as bullshit, no matter how romantically appealing they seem.

Several years ago I made a pilgrimage to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to encounter the man’s genius firsthand. Sadly, I departed somewhat underwhelmed by the experience. The magic eluded me. The impact of his artistry got subsumed in the space with so much of its focus on selling reproductions and memorabilia of all kinds—from umbrellas to coffee cups. I don’t expect any museum to be a cathedral of austerity. I recognize it takes funds to keep the doors open, but I felt this was a case where commercialism sucked all of the oxygen out of the exhibit.

My admiration for the artist, however, remains undiminished.  Over two decades ago, inspired by his work, I wrote this poem. But that’s not what this is about. Below I have posted a trailer for an amazing new film that brings Van Gogh’s work to life. As you will see, it goes far beyond typical animation to achieve something extraordinary. I’m trying to wait patiently for the release in 2017.

 

 

 

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Tunde Jegede – Kora Concerto (world premiere)

 

The Kora Concerto was written during my time living in Nigeria. It is in three movements and is influenced by various musical traditions of West Africa as well as Rodrigo’s celebrated guitar concerto. It loosely follows the structure of that concerto with a medium-tempo first movement, slow second movement and lively up-tempo finale.

Somehow in this kora concerto I wanted to capture the musical worlds of West Africa and particularly the Kora whilst remaining true to the classical tradition in much the same way as Rodrigo was able to do with the Spanish folk influences in his concerto.

It is a fine balance to maintain integrity in two traditions at once and I hope this piece has managed to do this successfully. Creating a kora concerto that can also be played by a traditional kora player is something that I have wanted to do for many years.

Tunde Jegede – Kora soloist
Renu – tabla & congas

PSAPPHA ENSEMBLE
Conrad Marshall – flute
Rachael Clegg – oboe
Dov Goldberg – clarinet
Sarah Nixon – bassoon
Andrew Budden – French horn
Tracey Redfern – trumpet
Gemma Beeson – piano
Tim Williams – percussion
Benedict Holland – violin
Simon Gilks – violin
Rose Redgrave – viola
Jennifer Langridge – cello
James Manson – double bass

Tunde Jegede – Profile
Tunde Jegede is a composer and musician who has been steeped in the traditions of European and African classical music for the last 30 years.

His music has been performed all over the world in concert halls such as Carnegie Hall (New York), the Royal Albert Hall (London) and the Basilique (Paris) by international orchestras and artists including; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the London Sinfonietta, the Brodsky Quartet, the Smith Quartet and by the percussion soloist, Evelyn Glennie.

Tunde is also a pioneer of African Classical Music and has a deep knowledge of traditional music and culture. As the founder of the African Classical Music Ensemble, Tunde has performed and recorded with some of Africa’s finest artists including Toumani Diabaté, Oumou Sangaré, Juldeh Camara, Bodé Lawal and the Pan African Orchestra .

From an early age, Tunde was uniquely schooled in both Western and African Classical Music. He attended the Purcell School of Music, UK’s first specialist music school conservatoire and also studied the music of the Kora (African Harp-Lute) and the Griot tradition under the Gambian Master of the Kora, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, in a hereditary tradition that dates back over 700 years. From this unusual parallel education, Tunde gained a deep understanding and appreciation of both forms of music and their distinct legacies, and all these strands and influences have since informed his music and work as an instrumentalist, teacher, and international classical composer.

His music has since taken him all over the world and he has written three full-scale operas, twenty symphonic works and he has worked with over a hundred orchestras and chamber groups.

Tunde has recorded four solo albums including his seminal debut album, ‘Lamentation’ and ‘Still Moment’ a meditative album of solo Kora. His new solo kora and solo cello albums, ‘Heritage’ and ‘Testimony’ were both released in 2014. In that same year he was appointed Artistic Director of the MUSON (Musical Society of Nigeria) Centre and School of Music in Lagos, Nigeria where he is now based and has since established his own concert series, New Horizons.