Monday, 12 August 2013

Great day!

Very few people are aware that I've been waiting for the past 14 weeks to hear whether an application to the Arts Council for funds has been successful.

The application was made by the Kaleidoscope Trust, the charity for whom we recorded our Four Colours EP. The project we're looking to fund involves recording the testimonies of LGBT people in Commonwealth countries. The underlying statistic in all of this is that it's still illegal to be gay in 41 out of the 54 Commonwealth Countries. So whilst we celebrate the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, with its ethos of "diversity and equality", none of us should forget that LGBT people back home are frightened and, in many cases being beaten up, imprisoned and murdered just for falling in love. 

The plan for this particular composition is to feature some of these testimonies as part of an extraordinary awareness-raising electro-acoustic composition which will be performed in two very exciting London venues to coincide with the start of the games next August. 

Anyway, a decision about the project was made by the Arts Council on my birthday last Thursday, so it was a little strange when I woke up this morning to discover there was still no letter in the post. 

I 'phoned someone up, who told me that she couldn't give me a response over the phone, but she took my details, and I felt, by the tone of her voice, that things hadn't gone our way. I immediately emailed one of our contacts at ACE to ask if she thought it was worth applying again, in the light of Stephen Fry rather handily brining the world's attention to the concept of sport and equality with his open letter to the Olympic Committee about Russia's new anti-gay legislation. 

The lovely lady from ACE immediately called back and said, "Benjamin! You were successful. We pushed hard for this one and we want to fund the project!"

Blimey! 

So, the project's happening and I'm just made-up. We'll announce it to the press in November and then Kaleidoscope's partners will spend time in Commonwealth countries collecting the testimonies. It could be incredibly moving.

It's a daunting prospect; a genuine opportunity to flex my composing muscles and try to make a work of art which raises genuine questions. Watch this space! 

To make my day go with even more of a swing, I received the first mix of one of the Pepys movements from PK, who is a freaking genius. It's so so exciting to listen to and I can't wait to get cracking on other movements. 

To celebrate, we've bundled Michelle into a car and are driving to Dunstable Downs to see if we can lie on a hillside eating Jaffa cakes and watching the Persius meteor shower. We're planning to reach the hill at about midnight, and it feels like a proper adventure! Life, it strikes me, is all about adventures and I've never sat on a hillside watching shooting stars before! 

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