Global Sounds Portsmouth is a unique new music project to bring together musicians from around the world who live in the city.
The project is connecting musicians from different countries, continents, faiths, and cultures to share musical traditions and create new music inspired by the many corners of the globe they all stem from.
The musicians involved in the project come from Iran, Nigeria, Tanzania, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Libya, Pakistan, England, South Africa, Brazil, Germany and Italy. Together they are seeking to explore their different cultures, languages, life journeys, and musical traditions, and express their shared experiences, humanity and love of music as an instrument of unity that challenges and transcends boundaries.
Moses Milner a local musician, artist and co-founder of The People’s Lounge said: “These incredible people and voices are here in Portsmouth. They all come from many different backgrounds and have had such different life experiences. We wanted to create an opportunity for these musicians to reconnect with their art form, to share their music and voices, and to collaborate with other musicians from around the world.
‘Portsmouth is now their home and we want to welcome everyone to the community here. It’s so important that as a city we celebrate the different
cultures we have here and that we create platforms for people to share their cultures and music with the rest of the city.
‘Music is a unifying force and a powerful instrument for self-expression, the idea of Global Sounds Portsmouth is to encourage musicians from around the world to express themselves and share their stories with each other and with the people of Portsmouth. We hope to challenge preconceptions and boundaries by bringing people together through music and celebrating different cultures.’
The project is being run as a series of workshops led by professional musicians.
Robert Milner, a local Jazz musician and educator from South Africa, is the Musical Director of the project said: ‘Being involved with the GSP music performance workshops has been a most enjoyable experience. The participants are from all over the globe and despite their varied musical backgrounds and levels, they have all been enthusiastic, dedicated and spirited. Their love of music and desire to communicate and create together has transcended any cultural differences and personal circumstances. I’m so happy to be part of this project.”
Mahroo, an Iranian musician says: ‘Getting involved in Global Sounds Portsmouth has given me a new energy – I’m feeling better about myself! Going back to the world of music, teamwork, familiarising with sounds of other countries, commitments and rehearsals are all the things that I had really missed for a long time.
‘I love and had missed performing and this has given me a great opportunity to restart and enjoy my and others skills and pieces. I really appreciate the opportunity and am so glad to be involved in the project.’
As part of the project special guest musicians from around the world have been invited to run workshops with the group and give free performances across different venues in the city.
Saxophonist and local jazz musician Lee Goodall will lead a workshop alongside South African guitar player and vocalist Mark Fennell.
Sounds of Refuge, a brand new world music project from John Falsetto, Mohamed Sarrar and Ammar Haj Ahmad, fusing Zimbabwean, Sudanese and Syrian music, spoken word and poetry, will come and lead a workshop and will also do a free public performance on Sunday, October 21 from 5-7pm at Hunter Gatherer Coffee on Albert Road, Southsea.
Elaha Soroor a London-based singer-songwriter from Afghanistan will also lead a workshop. Elaha will be accompanied by Giulliano Modarelli (Kefaya) and tabla player Gurdain Rayatt for a free performance of modern interpretations of folk music from Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 6, at The South Coast Emporium, Elm Grove, Southsea.
The Global Sounds Portsmouth Group are currently working towards a free concert on November 24, at All Saints Church in Commercial Road, from 5-7pm. This final showcase will be a performance of all the music the group have created over the course of the project.