We Could Send Letters – music/literature/performance – Darren McGarvey / Fri 16th June

TICKETS https://www.wegottickets.com/event/579569


Fri 16th June, FRETS/ The Strathaven Hotel

Darren McGarvey
Becci Wallace
Raymond MacDonald

David Scott

We are excited to announce we are starting a new venture to complement our FRETS concerts. We Could Send Letters is a new program that features live music and interviews with the musicians/authors who are performing. The first event in the Strathaven Hotel features best-selling Darren McGarvey (Poverty Safari / The Distance Between Us). Please take a few minutes to read through what we’re aiming to do with We Could Send Letters.

Darren McGarvey came to public attention through the music he released as Loki, becoming one of Scottish Hip Hop’s most influential artists and contributing to the popularisation of the Scottish accent in rap music. His work as a prize-winning author of best-selling books like Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass from 2018 and The Distance Between Us: How Remote Politics Wrecked Britain published in 2022. Darren will be performing a spoken word and music/rhetoric set. Darren appears regularly on television, his 2022 series Darren McGarvey’s Addiction won the BAFTA Award Scotland for Factual Series whilst his Darren McGarvey’s Common People podcast has attracted large viewing figures.

Becci Wallace’s material has been described by Celtic Connections as consisting of “original, artful alignment of folk and hip-hop elements”. She is an acclaimed singer/songwriter/artist/musician/producer and is a PHD student researching hip hop education. Becci is also the creator of That’s What She Said – a series of podcasts featuring panels and performances from women in the music industry. Becci is an activist for women in the music industry and her most recent release outlines the struggles both personally and as part of the wider industry in Scotland for parents trying to remain relevant. Becci also co-created SongSeeds songwriting retreats/workshops/masterclasses (for people of all abilities).

Raymond MacDonald has been described by The Guardian as “leading contemporary jazz”. He is a saxophonist, composer and psychologist with an extensive career in music, cross-disciplinary arts and academia. Much of his work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. As a saxophonist and composer, MacDonald has released over 60 CDs, toured and broadcast worldwide and has composed music for film, television, theatre, radio and art installations. He is currently Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at Edinburgh University and his recent book, The Art of Becoming: How Group Improvisation Works (co-authored with Graeme Wilson) explores the nature of improvisation. MacDonald has also co-edited five texts and published over 80 academic papers and book chapters.

David Scott is a broadcaster who has created programs for BBC Radio Scotland including the well-loved Classic Scottish Albums series. David has also fronted The Pearlfishers and has released 9 albums of his songs by the group since the early 1990s. He is also a renowned music producer working across a multitude of genres, experience he puts to good use through his educational work with University of West of Scotland.

The format for We Could Send Letters at FRETS/The Strathaven Hotel will be David Scott interviewing the musician/authors. The event will start with David interviewing Raymond MacDonald about his books and exploring the links between music and learning. David and Raymond will also discuss the importance of jazz as a soundtrack for civil rights internationally prior to a performance of free-jazz saxophone by the musician.

David will then discuss with Becci her written approach to education and the work she undertakes at her SongSeeds workshops. He will also talk about her published research work on hip hop education processes and her That’s What She Said podcasts relating to women in the music industry. Becci will then perform a set of her folk-influenced hip hop songs.

Finally David will interview Darren about the importance music has played in shaping his life and discuss his award-winning books. Darren will talk about the communication elements of hip hop and rap, followed by his performance which will be a mix of spoken word, music and rhetoric.

The seated audience will be able to enjoy the background music throughout the event, which will exclusively feature jazz and early progenitors of hip hop and rap (including The Last Poets / Gil Scott Heron).

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