Commissioned by Disability Arts Online, Lloyd Coleman, a young graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, has completed the first composition for the British Paraorchestra and the Southbank Sinfonia.
Accompanied by a series of illuminating video blogs hosted on Dao’s website, the personable and articulate young composer seeks to demystify and make accessible the composition process for audiences and introduce members of the Paraorchestra to the public.
Motivated by the current lack of inclusion of disabled musicians in the classical world Lloyd, a founder member of the Paraorchestra headed up by Charles Hazlewood, has revealed that the commissioned piece is now in rehearsals for a July 3rd 2015 debut in the Colston Hall, Bristol.
The piece is entitled ‘Towards Harmony’ to reflect the process and context of the project, Lloyd says:
“The title of the work reflects two things. Firstly, it signals the musical voyage depicted by the piece itself, from a state of relative dissonance and friction between the Paraorchestra and the accompanying players from the Southbank Sinfonia, to an ultimately satisfying conclusion.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Towards Harmony symbolises the long journey Charles Hazlewood has embarked upon with the Paraorchestra project. He has said from the beginning that he wants to see more integration of disabled musicians into the wider community of performers.
I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones, as I have been allowed to achieve my potential and am now developing a career in music, but I see too many of my friends and colleagues left out in the cold on account of their disability. Our performance of Towards Harmony in Bristol, with the wonderful Southbank Sinfonia, will represent another key milestone our mission for musical equality.”
Drawing influence from the diverse backgrounds and experience of the 25 Paraorchestra players ‘Towards Harmony’ includes world music, minimalism, contemporary classical music and rock music, to be performed on violas and clarinets, saxophones and harmonicas, guitars and laptops.
Trish Wheatley, Director of Dao says:
“We are really excited about Towards Harmony. Lloyd is actively demonstrating the positive outcomes that happen when investment is made in the employment and commissioning of creative disabled people. Thanks to the support of Arts Council England and the Britten-Pears Foundation we’ve got a world-class piece of music that entertains the audience whilst championing the recognition of disabled musicians at its very core.”