Next Sunday (Feb 21) at 18:45 GMT there’s a program, “Classical Commonwealth,” that will air on BBC Radio 3 and be hosted by Belize-born British composer, Errollyn Wallen.
Jon was fortunate to be one of several folks who were interviewed for it and I talked about Hybridity in Music, Slave and Anti-Colonial Orchestras, and Colonialism.
“Errollyn Wallen unravels the story of how classical music fused with local musical traditions across the British Commonwealth, speaking to acclaimed conductor Zubin Mehta, soprano Patricia Rozario, composer and kora player Tunde Jegede and others.
“Errollyn explores the remarkable musical hybrids that emerged in Nigeria, India and the Caribbean, as well as those from her own heritage in the Central American nation of Belize. We hear the fascinating stories – and music – of Nigeria’s Fela Sowande, the Indian conductor Mehli Mehta (father of Zubin Mehta), and more recent composers that have sought to capture their cultural “in-between”-ness in sound, such as Naresh Sohal, Akin Euba, and Tunde Jegede.
“Errollyn also explores challenging questions around our reception (and sometimes neglect) of this music in a postcolonial era. In celebrating and championing this repertoire – how much do we also need to confront ideas of musical colonialism? What does this all tell us about how musical culture was disseminated – and sometimes imposed – across the British Empire? And what should we make of it today?”