I’m so excited to announce that thanks to project funding from Arts Council England (ACE) I can further research the Central African musical traditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo with support from key people and organisations in Manchester and the Congo.
My two-year project will consist of three stages. This August (2021) I travelled to Kinshasa for the first of two trips to carry out academic research in collaboration with L’Institut National des Muses Du Congo (INMC). INMC oversees all the museums in the Congo and houses a musicology department, which incorporates both a specialist library and an archive of field recordings. During my time there, I interviewed local musicians – see below for more information!
Professor Rachel Beckles Willson, who is a Professorial Research Associate at SOAS University of London has assisted with planning my research and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Resource Centre and Educational Trust, housed at Manchester Central Library, has supported this project with training in recording techniques and ethical considerations around oral histories. When my project is finished, my findings will be stored in their archive for public access.
Finally when my research is completed, I will be working once again with Jaydev Mistry to create a new repertoire of songs. We will then embark on a tour of workshops and performances across the UK and, further down the line, will produce a new album of our music which will include contributions from other local BAME musicians.