The Fragmented Orchestra

This is one of the weirdest/coolest sounding events I’ve seen in a while:

The Fragmented Orchestra, winners of the PRS Foundation’s New Music Award 2008, presents 24 hours of music, neuroscience and performance at 24 sites across the UK. The London events include: 10am, at the Institute of Psychiatry, in Camberwell, a prerecorded debate on Music and the Mind is transmitted to the soundbox between (10 am-midday); Then, at the National Portrait Gallery (midday-1.30pm) the violinist Rolf Wilson plays excerpts from Bach’s Partita in E and Prokofiev’s unaccompanied Violin Sonata. Plus, the playwright/neurologist Paul Broks and actors present ‘The Fragmented Self’, exploring the human brain. The Stephen Lawrence Centre (Brookmill Rd, SE8, 1pm-2pm) hosts Howard Monk of The Local in an acoustic session featuring David Thomas Broughton and others. Followed (3pm-5pm) with an exmination of having a stroke, at the Rochelle School (Arnold Circus, E2). Including, Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ one of the paradigmatic pieces of contemporary classical music, and presented by South London Arts collective What They Could Do, They Did. St Andrew’s, Fulham Fields, the Stations of the Cross are walked liturgically between 6pm and 7pm with newly commissioned music and words of reflection. (See website for full details.)

Advertisements

Immunization bribes

In the UK, Prime Minister Brown has pledged £200 grants in exchange for participating in health and social programs:

Ten pilot projects in low-income neighbourhoods will trial the one-off grants as part of a £125 million three-year drive announced in the Budget to find innovative solutions to child poverty.

Based on schemes in the US, where parents are rewarded for things like making sure their children attend health check-ups and receive immunisation jabs, the grants are targeted at the most hard-to-reach parents who currently do not take up services offered by children’s centres.

The pilots will test whether offering cash incentives can encourage socially-excluded parents to participate in agreed programmes of action to improve their children’s well-being.

I’m actually not aware of programs like that here in the US, but I think they’re a great idea. It’s a small price to pay for healthy kids and a little boost to social mobility.

Black Cab Sessions

I feel like I may have posted this before, but it’s worth the possible repost. Check out the Black Cab Sessions, a series of indy performances all done inside old London cabs. For an English outfit, Texan musicians seem to be represented fairly well: Daniel Johnston, Spoon, St. Vincent, Okkervil River, and I guess we can count Bill Callahan too, since he recently moved to Austin.