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8th February, 2023

The Diasporic Quartets, Identity and Aesthetics

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Event Details

8th February, 2023
17:00 - 18:30
Room ALG09, College building

The Diasporic Quartets is Des Oliver’s musical response to the underlying subject of identity, heritage, influence, and representation.

Consisting of portrait movements, the piece draws on themes arising from his documentary series, Identity and the Anxiety of Influence, commissioned by Sound and Music for the British Music Collection.

The film examines the music and ideas of four UK-based composers from the African-diaspora, unpacking the (often) complex relationship composers of colour have with Western classical music.

His musical journey touches on aspects of heritage, cultural appropriation, influence, social- justice, and representation.

About the speaker

Post-minimalist, and at times impressionistic, infused with African- diasporic influences, Des Oliver’s music draws from a variety of genres and styles, and combines driving rhythms with vivid colours, often culminating in mesmerising and immersive musical landscapes.

Commissions include works for the Bach Choir and Faust Chamber Orchestra (Stone Records), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘Rush’ for the Pegasus Opera Company (featured on Channel 4 News), and Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra.

His ‘Dionysian Rivers Flow Through Me’ was selected for the International Computer Music Conference in Daegu, South Korea.

He has composed works for the soloist Clio Gould, All India Radio Artist Shruti Jauhari, The Fusion Project’s Janan Sathiendran, and most recently for accordionist Mingyuan Ruan (winner of 27th IBLA international music competition).

His music has been performed at the South Bank Centre, LSO St Lukes, The Bridewell Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Oxford Playhouse, The Sheldonian Theatre, Holywell Music Room, Greenwich Theatre, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

He is currently working on his first full-length Windrush Opera with librettist Edson Burton MBE.

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