Our new exhibition here in the Colyer-Fergusson Gallery focuses on the different uses of music during World War One.
Curated by Dr Emma Hanna in the School of History, the exhibition examines music away from the solemnity of memorial services, and looks instead at its use as entertainment in an era before the widespread ownership of gramophones, as a means of boosting morale during the conflict, as a recruitment tool, and as a means of keeping the men at the Front in touch with feelings of home.
As Dr Hanna writes in her introduction accompanying the exhibition, music ‘was unmatched in its power to cajole, console, cheer and inspire during the conflict and its aftermath.’
On display until Friday 25 November during normal opening hours, the exhibition is free to attend, and is part of the Gateways to the First World War project. You can talk a short video walk-through of the exhibition on Periscope here.
As part of the Music department’s observing of the anniversary of World War One, including the Battle of the Somme, three events next week.
On Thursday 10 November, a special performance by the Cecilian Choir, conducted by Your Loyal Correspondent, commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with a new choral piece written by American composer David Lang in Studio 3 Gallery. Memorial Ground is an evocative, haunting meditation on the Battle of the Somme, but also reaches beyond it to commemorate all those who have lost their lives in conflict ever since. The piece was commissioned as part of the nationwide 14-18NOW project.
As part of a national series of performances, Memorial Ground is the Pulitzer-prize-winning composer’s response to the anniversary, written in such a way as to allow choirs around the country to realise the piece in whatever way is appropriate to their occasion. For this performance by the Cecilian Choir, the piece will be combined with words by the First World War poet, Siegfried Sassoon, as well as with a new poem written by Nancy Gaffield, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing in the School of English. The performance will be illuminated by a series of projections from the Special Collections and Archives department in the Templeman Library, curated by Joanna Baines. This sepcially-crafted son et lumiere event begins at 1.10pm, and will last approximately twenty minutes; admission is free – if you can’t make it, the event will be streamed live online here.
On Friday 11 November at 11am, third-year Music Scholar and trumpeter Alex Reid will play the Last Post in the Registry Garden; this is followed at 1.10pm by a lunchtime concert focusing on poet and composer Ivor Gurney. Arranged by Dr Kate Kennedy, the event dramatizes Gurney’s life as musician, soldier and eventually asylum patient, following his progress in his own words and music, with humour and poignancy.
From the start of next week, Colyer-Fergusson Gallery will host an exhibition produced by the Gateways to the First World WarProject exploring music during the conflict, which will be on display until Friday 25 November.
Find out about all these events and more online here.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.