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Old Stones Remember and Spirit of Africa

Liz LaneAssociate Lecturer Dr Liz Lane will have a hectic day later this month with two new commissions being performed on 12 July.

The first, Old Stones Remember will be performed at the Presteigne Festival. The commission is part of the Festival’s outreach programme Singing Histories – a cross artform, cross-border initiative. Based around the Battle of Bryn Glas, Pilleth, in 1402, the project has involved professional musicians, a poet and children from local primary schools.

Old Stones Remember, with music by Liz Lane and words by poet David Lewis, resulted from school workshops and features impressive input by the local children. 12 July will see two special community performances of the cantata with massed choirs from the participating schools accompanied by the Presteigne Festival Ensemble, conductor George Vass.  The music will receive a further performance on 26 August at the Presteigne Festival by the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir.

Liz has also been commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival to write a companion piece to David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus. Spirit of Africa, featuring words by lyricist Jennifer Henderson, will be performed for the first time at Cheltenham Town Hall on 12 July by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Maureen Brathwaite (soprano), BackBeat Percussion and conductor Gavin Carr.

Liz worked closely with David Fanshawe, a pioneer of ethnomusicology, until his death in 2010 and this work is inspired by the colours and symbolic meanings of the flags of Egypt, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, the countries he travelled when recording the music for his iconic African Sanctus.

Following the performance, Liz will deliver a talk entitled ‘Exploring African Sanctus’. The talk was originally devised by David Fanshawe and explores the work’s genesis. There will also be a question and answer session.