by Anthony R. Green
Early this year, Castle of our Skins collaborated with Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) on a program celebrating legendary Black liberators. Part of our collaboration involved heavy research into the world of operas composed by Black people around the world. This research exposed me to a world of African opera of which I had not previously known, and it was wonderful to share these works with BLO and my musical network. This post, however, is NOT about these operas! That post will happen later this season! This post is about another resource that I recently found which highlights music by African composers!
African Composers came online last year (with their first Facebook post appearing around January 2018), and has posted a wealth of informative, practical, and fun posts since. The website and their social media (Facebook) contain interviews, news articles, YouTube videos, features & spotlights, as well as composition competitions and some analytical posts. One of the posts I found the most interesting is a post from an organization that found that no submissions from Africa arrived to their opportunity. I wonder if this is because of the nature of the opportunity, the lack of information dissemination, a lack of importance placed on composition opportunities in African music institutions, a combination of all of these, or other reasons which I cannot determine. Regardless, the work of Edewede Oriwoh (who seems to be single-handedly maintaining the website and the social media) is hoping to change the participation and visibility of African composers in the fabric of the Classical composition world, and I hope this little post can contribute to this increase in consideration and visibility. While the mission of this website seems to be to highlight and support African composers and musicians regardless of skin color, the bulk of their posts feature Black composers and musicians, proving an excellent resource for any organizations (such as Castle of our Skins) and ensembles whose mission focuses on Black artistry.
Be sure to check out their website: https://www.africancomposers.com
Like their social media: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanComposers
... and spread the word!
Next BIBA: Sunday, September 23, 2018. Topic: Interview with composer Samuel Beebe!
Writings, musings, photos, links, and videos about Black Artistry of ALL varieties! Feel free to drop a comment or suggestions for posts!