Three FREE December concerts showcasing students from the School of Music & Fine Art

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A wide range of vibrant music making activities is available at The School of Music & Fine Art, from Chamber Choir and jazz ensembles through to the World Percussion Ensemble and the large-scale Choir and Band, comprising students from across the Medway campus. In December we will be showcasing the talent and skills of our students in a range of concerts that are free to attend.

On Wednesday December 9th in the Galvanising Workshop at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus, students from the School of Music & Fine Art perform music from a range of traditions. The Jazz Improvisation Ensemble  will perform works by Juan Tizol, Fats Waller and Joe Harriott.  There will be a performance of Frank Martin’s exceptionally beautiful Piano Quintet in D Minor and the concert will be framed by works with a festive flavour sung by the Chamber Choir.  This free concert starts at 7.30pm.

In the following week, there is also a chance to hear students from the BMus and MA Music programmes studying band and ensemble playing.  This Ensemble Performance Lunchtime Concert is on Tuesday December 15th from 12 noon until 1pm in the Galvanising Workshop, and will include performances of jazz and contemporary popular music.

Finally, from 8pm until late on Thursday December 17th the award winning bar and bistro Cargo Bar at Liberty Quays welcomes bands from the School of Music & Fine Art to perform sets of original material and covers.  This stunning nautical and industrial-style venue is the perfect place to sample some of the best live music acts the area has to offer.  The gigs are free to attend, always draw a crowd and have a fantastic atmosphere. The SMFA gig at Cargo last Easter was a huge success, with three bands from across the stages of the School of Music and Fine Art giving powerful and exciting performances.

Says Director of Music Programmes and Lecturer in Music, Dr Ben Curry, “I always feel immensely proud and excited when I see our students perform. Whether they are playing innovative pop, soul and jazz or pulling off a challenging work from the classical tradition, they always give compelling performances.”

For more information on any of these concerts, go to https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events.html?view_by=month&date=20151222&category=&tag=

The School of Music & Fine Art offers a wide range of degrees which include: BMus Music, BSc Music Technology, BMus Popular Music, and NEW joint honours BA (Hons) Music and English & American Studies, and BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Computing; MA Music, MA Music Composition, MA Popular Music, MA Music Technology, PhD Music and PhD Music Technology

POSTER CREDIT: Tayler Cronly-Dillon

 

FREE music events in Medway from the School of Music & Fine Art

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The University of Kent at Medway’s School of Music & Fine Art offers a range of FREE music events, ranging from masterclasses, concerts and talks, in the wonderfully atmospheric Chatham Historic Dockyard, where the School is based.

On Tuesday November 10th in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space at Chatham Historic Dockyard, SMFA students studying band and ensemble playing are performing a lunchtime concert from 12 noon to 1pm. Everyone welcome.  And there will be another lunchtime concert on Tuesday December 15th.

Friday 13th  November in the Galvanising Workshop Israeli composer, performer and improviser Guy Harries will lead a two-hour Technology in Performance Masterclass from 3-5pm demonstrating his method and techniques in utilising technology in live performance.

On Wednesday December 9th, the Galvanising Workshop is the venue for a Christmas Concert at 7.30pm – students perform music from a range of traditions. The jazz improvisation ensemble and choir feature works by Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington and Joe Harriott.  The Contemporary Music Ensemble, Chamber Choir and Multi-Keyboard Ensemble present music to both challenge and delight the audience.

And on Thursday December 17th at Cargo Bar, Liberty Quays from 8pm – 11pm,  bands from the School of Music & Fine Art perform sets of original material and covers.  These are exciting evenings with a fantastic atmosphere and always draw a crowd!

All of these events are FREE but please do book through mfareception@kent.ac.uk  and check out the website for regular updates at  https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/  

PHOTO CREDIT: Stacey Cooper

A Medway Vision 7 – Broken Genius

What’s in a name?  A mask?  Identity?  Hailing from Rainham, Medway musician and painter Lupen Crook is, quite simply, captivating.   Lupen Crook is not his real name of course.  It’s Matthew Pritchard.  But, if it’s a story about being driven to create that compels you – the Medway Vision if you will, then Lupen Crook is all we need to know about.

Lupen Crook is a prolific painter and musician.  Oh, and his makes his own animated music videos too.  Flirting with fame and being one of the NME darlings for a while, he is one of the jewels in Medway’s creative crown.    But if it wasn’t for that name change it might never have happened.  Lupen explains his early days, “I played with Chris Garth (now of UPCDOWNC).  Later, when the Tap n Tin hey-day was in full swing I was performing initially with Bonzai Reservoir (whose members included Chris Austin of Tape Error), and when that imploded I started out as Lupen Crook.”  It was this ‘implosion’ that began a new chapter and it was here that his artwork also took root, having to cobble together band posters with little materials or money, and the same went for his DIY album releases.  Lupen Crook became an artist just trying to do the best with whatever was to hand.

Initially signed to the Tap n Tin label, the EP ‘Petals Fresh From Road Kill’ was released as 500 vinyls all with hand-painted sleeves. In true independent style, he has since self-released via his own label Beast Reality, the most recent being 2011’s ‘Waiting For  The Post-Man’.   Describing the process Crook states, “Beast Reality started out much the same way as everything else, having no one else to do it for me, so I did it myself. My good friend, web-designer and writer Stuart Hardy ended up getting on board and together we’ve honed the self-release approach over the last few years, experimenting with each release and thinking on our feet.”  It might have worked out differently.  In 2005, NME got behind Lupen Crook and featured him on their 2005 Cool List compilation.  A star was surely born?  Well, yes and no.  Lupen decided to go it alone.  Using his own record label, using his own vision.  Fame eluded him but his art was intact.

Lupen Crooks’ music defies category.  How many times does an artist say that their work doesn’t fall into a musical category, only for you to listen to it and then realise that it’s about as generic as a Rom-Com.  Lupen breaks the mould.  Try as I might there is no chance of me being able to tell you what ‘category’ his music fits into.  Take his latest album, ‘Waiting for The Post-Man’  It starts off sounding like Bowie, takes a strange neo-gothic u-turn, shuffles about near the area labeled ‘folk’, then heads off to 80’s electronics before getting all World Party-ish with it’s pop melancholia.  If there is one thing I could describe it as, it’s just singer/songwriter pop.  Brilliant pop.  Rarely have I heard the sound of a record with so many tunes on it not to have hits.  But then maybe that’s part of the problem.  The record industry does like its categories and my guess is Lupen Crook’s genius for writing from the hip will be admired for a long time without anybody actually being able to pin his sound down and sell it.  Lupen confesses,  “musically, it’s eclectic. They are folk songs in the sense they are stories, but then it has always felt very punk in spirit. Basically, it’s free.”

As for his paintings, they capture an essence of Medway as much as the music and lyrics.  They show the beauty and majesty of Medway but always with the knowledge that the heartbeat of these Towns is often the rough-around-the-edges social chaos that we so often see on a Saturday night.  Looking at his paintings I keep thinking of something he said and it makes sense; “my influences have always been my surroundings – people, places, shapes, sounds – the mistakes I’ve made, the people I’ve hurt, the things that have hurt me – everything that makes an impression on me inevitably ends up becoming an influence.”  As an artist I understand that, as a fan of music and painting I can see that ethos clearly in his work.

Last year Lupen had exhibitions of his artwork in London and Medway (at Rochester’s Deaf Cat Café). This year he is continuing to paint, although he does promise that there are some new musical projects in the pipeline. While Lupen is holed up creating we can catch a glimpse of his work in and around the Towns.  Currently Nucleus Art Gallery in Rochester is exhibiting his work. Aside from that, he is performing a one-off gig at London’s The Borderline on 9th June supporting Jim Bob from CARTER USM and the video he made for the song ‘Chasing Dragons’ is set to be shown at London’s Progressive Art Centre. The show is called ‘DIY POP VIDIO’ and it’s being curated by Medway artist, poet and musician Sexton Ming.

Where next for Lupen Crook?  When you have come this far down the road, when you have worked hard to create the output of ‘Lupen Crook’, where does the next stage take him?  “As for actual goals in my life, keeping my head above water and the wolves from my door whilst continuing to create things; be that music, art, videos – whatever feels inspiring at the time.”  Listening to Lupen Crook, you get the impression that these sounds could ONLY have been written in and about Medway.  His paintings, the same.  If any artist can be classed as the ‘voice’ of Medway’s dark underbelly then Lupen Crook is surely it.

Lupen Crook plays The Borderline, London on the Saturday 9th June supporting Jim Bob from Carter USM.  Tickets £12 http://theborderline.co.uk/listings/date/2012/6/9/

‘Waiting for the Post-Man’ is out now on Beast Reality Records priced £10  http://www.lupencrook.com/

For more information about Lupen Crook’s paintings visit:  http://www.brokenarts.co.uk/

Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

www.themoontheeye.co.uk

www.twitter.com/Mr_Young

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