Posts Tagged ‘Ensemble 10/10’

Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 13th 2011
United Nations

Ben Kaye from Anya17 meets Aranka and Syria from The United Nations (UN-GIFT) in London Oct 2011

It was wonderful to finally meet Siria and Aranka from UN.GIFT, with whom I had been liaising for so long before we had an informal get together this week in London. It was particularly poignant also to meet at the BFI Southbank, where the Composer Adam Gorb and I had so many meetings thrashing out the Opera.

Siria and Aranka had just flown over from Vienna on a very busy schedule indeed and were due to fly across the globe the next day, so it was great to catch up. UN.GIFT are about to launch (amongst many other things) a new Human Trafficking leaflet and would very much appreciate feedback from UK NGOs before publication, so if you don’t have their contact details then please do get in touch asap.

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 6th 2011
Invitation to No. 10 Downing Street

With the various musical collaborations I have been involved with over the past few years, some moments really stick in my mind. Hearing my words set to music for the very first time was a big one. JAM made it all come true for me at Southwark Cathedral with Paul Patterson’s ‘The Fifth Continent’ and I will never forget that first opportunity, nor that evening. JAM has a superb run of concerts touring Scotland this month by the way, so do visit http://www.jamconcert.org to find out more.

I have to admit (with a great sense of shame) that other highlights include the first BBC broadcasts and even being asked for my autograph for the first time. Very vain I know – but not easily forgotten – nor ever repeated! Better by far were the hugs I received from bereaved families at the ‘Eternal Voices’ concert last year for the fallen in Afghanistan, and hearing ‘Thoughts Scribbled on a Blank Wall’ at Westminster (again through JAM) was a pretty humbling experience.

Official praise is great too; perhaps the curse of writers everywhere. Two days ago an envelope landed on my doormat. It was an invitation to meet the Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street later this month in recognition of all that Adam Gorb, myself and the volunteers have done to bring this project to fruition.

With a budget of £0.00 and having to search for loose change between the sofa cushions just to travel to meetings, do the research etc. I may even have to shave for this one…

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 2nd 2011
Anya17 Nominated for Award!

It was a huge surprise when I heard that ‘Anya17’ has already been nominated for an award!

Despite the fact that the premiere of Anya17 is not until March 7th next year, the Libretto for the Opera has been circulating amongst the Charity community in the UK and abroad, and the result seems to have been a nomination for a HTF Media award at The House of Lords in October!

Let’s not get too excited here, because not only is there ‘many a slip twixt cup and lip’ but also some technicality over dates may make us ineligible both for the Awards for this year, and unfortunately for 2012, but the nomination itself is a great emotional boost to all of us who have worked so hard and for so long on this project – some since 2009. Without Adam Gorb, the RNCM, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool Hope University, Anna, Stu, Lauren, the UN, the supporting Charities, MPs, MEPs and the BBC, what we may have had here could have just have been a still-born dream.

Before I go into full ‘Awards Ceremony Mode’ therefore and start thanking my Agent (who doesn’t exist), my Mother (who definitely does) and my Deity (the Jury’s still out on that one), I would sincerely like to thank all of you for nurturing some nebulous genus of an idea and helped the project to get this far.

Surely the plaudits though must go to my hairdresser…

Well done everyone!

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Author: Adam Gorb - Composer, Co-founder
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September 28th 2011
Anya17 – A Composer’s Perspective

Ben Kaye and I had worked on two previous projects, both related to present day world issues: ‘Thoughts Scribbled on A Blank Wall’ (2007), a cantata based on the incarceration of the political prisoner John McCarthy, and ‘Eternal Voices’ (2010), an oratorio on the subject of war in the 21st century with particular reference to the conflict in Afghanistan! I had wanted to write an opera for years, so when (at last) I had found a librettist in Ben Kaye who I could really work with, we spent many hours, telephone calls, meetings and emails mulling over subject matter.  Having thought very hard on whether to find a story from ancient or tried and tested sources, we eventually concluded that we would follow what had worked for us before: to take an important issue from today’s news and bring it to people’s attention through words and music. The dark and distressing area of human trafficking seemed a worthy challenge.

The genesis of this project literally took years. I have a full time job at a music college, and previously I had always composed mainly at weekends and in the holidays. But to create a one hour-long opera, this would need more time than I have ever taken previously on a work. After several failed applications for time off from work to research organisations, I was eventually granted a term where I could farm out my teaching and examining, thus leaving several hours a day for composing. I had already written a short ensemble piece ‘Dancing in the Ghetto’, which had had a couple of performances. This work has an Eastern European flavour which seemed to include a flavour of the highly charged atmosphere in which the story of the opera was to take place: in short, it was comforting to have a score with useful source material from where to start, rather than an intimidating blank page!

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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September 25th 2011
Second Documentary Confirmed

Directly inspired by the Anya17 project, a recent call from the BBC confirmed that they have decided to start filming a short Documentary on Human Trafficking in the UK.

Spearheaded by the much-respected Simon Clemison, the Documentary will form part of the BBC’s ‘Inside Out’ series, and although predominately focussing on the South West (where I’m based) it is hoped that the magnitude of the subject will ensure BBC broadcasts in many other regions.

I am absolutely delighted that Anya17 has stimulated this interest, and despite the fact that ‘Anya’ is unlikely to feature much in the film, Anya’s true purpose will be well served.

Many thanks to Simon and all at the Beeb for their continued support!

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