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Great response to cross cultural collaboration in heart of Gloucestershire

A wonderful musical link between Lydbrook Band and RSVP Bhangra Band was enjoyed by plenty of music enthusiasts in Coleford recently.

Bhangra
  The musical link between brass and bhangra proved to be a huge hit

The Lydbrook Band has just helped to give the world premiere of 'Surtaal Suite No 1' — an innovative musical partnership linking a traditional brass band with an Indian Bhangra Band and soprano voice.

Created by composer Liz Lane and the RSVP Bhangra Band, with additional words by Andy Rashleigh, the work is formed from parts of her 45-minute long 'Surtaal Symphony' — a cross-cultural collaboration blending Western and Punjabi musical traditions.

The Surtaal Symphony title originates from two important words in the Bhangra tradition: Sur, meaning 'melody', and Taal meaning 'rhythm'. Each represents one of four symphonic movements along with Raasar, an 'expression or emotion', and 'Bol' which means 'lyric'.

Glorious weather

Conducted by Ian Holmes, the first 'suite' performance recently took place at Lydbrook's 'Proms in the Park' at the Speech House Hotel in Coleford, Gloucestershire in front of a packed, enthusiastic audience basking in glorious weather.

A second 'Surtaal Suite No. 2' performance will be given by Brighouse & Rastrick conducted by David Thornton later in the year.

The band also benefitted from a grant from the Norman Jones Trust administered by Brass Bands England, which contributed to a number of community taster events, and such has been the impact of the collaboration that a number of other bands have already been in touch with Liz Lane to find if they can perform the 'Suite' at their own events.

4BR understands that a feature about the event will soon be available through BrassPass tv

We had a brilliant day last Saturday launching 'Surtaal Suite No. 1' to a fantastic audience of well over 1000 people who really enjoyed the occasionComposer, Liz Lane.

Brilliant day

Liz told 4BR: "We had a brilliant day last Saturday launching 'Surtaal Suite No. 1' to a fantastic audience of well over 1000 people who really enjoyed the occasion.

We are all really looking forward to the exciting premiere of 'Surtaal Suite No. 2' with Brighouse & Rastrick and David Thornton in November, and have been delighted with the wonderful response to the music."



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Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author