Mbongwana Star

“Mbongwana Star (‘Mbongwana’ meaning ‘change’) are a newly formed band from Kinshasa, Congo. Tired of the pre-conceptions around African music, they’re creating their own identity, fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with post punk and electronics. Full of energy and utterly original, here’s a brand new track from their forthcoming album.” Liking the trippy psychedelic grooves. On […]

Tunes

Time to listen!! Enjoying a composition hiatus as I’ve been composing nonstop since the summer. Time for a well-deserved break. Vibin’ off these tunes at the moment… Cate Le Bon – Sisters Art Farmer – Soul Sides: The 8th Day – Cheeba: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Moorish Dance: Eric Dolphy – Eclipse: Aerial M – Dazed […]

String Arrangements

I have been asked to compose string arrangements for Lizzie Emeh’s new LP. I thought I’d find this quite easy as my compositions tend to be quite melodic, oh how naive of me! So as the stress levels have increased (writer’s block) – I decided to take a day off working on the tracks, start […]

Chef Concertino

At the start of the year, I was fortunate to have an orchestral piece called “Chef Concertino” performed at Birmingham Conservatoire. The composition department has an annual competition where composition students can submit works to be performed; the best 6 are chosen. My performance incorporated two passions: food and music. It featured my chef uncle […]

X

(Photographer Vanley Burke with curator Ian Sergeant) ‘X’ was revolution no. 20, under the Free School events curated by Ian Sergeant. It was inspired by an intriguing, enthralling and what John L. Williams calls a tragicomic story of black political activist Michael X. Initially Ian Sergeant wanted a performance inspired by black British politics in the […]

Respek Vanley: Music Workshops Sessions 3 & 4

We are getting there… thank goodness for that, as I’m having the trippiest dreams as the pressure is on. Young people have written two original sets of lyrics for songs using the riddims of Steel Pulse and Burning Spear, I have an  a capella idea for the final ditty, we have one session left to devise/rehearse, […]

Push and Pull

My Uchenna dance score commission deadline fast approaches. It’s been good fun working on it, is my compositional skill developing? I hope so. I am starting to see patterns in my musical style which is good, this awareness will mean I can take more compositional risks, (as I’m starting to grow bored of what I […]