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BCMG welcome guest musicians for a ground-breaking musical exchange

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group is to embark on a ground-breaking musical collaboration, Music in Dialogue, that links classical musicians from the UK with those from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In a first for the organisation, BCMG welcome Gul Muhammad, an expert in Sarangi (a three stringed traditional South Asian fiddle); sitar player Turab Ali Hashmi, vocalist Ahsan Bari and Bamboo Flute performer Neel Kamrul for a period of artistic exchange, performances and workshops.

Stephan Meier, Artistic Director of BCMG, explains: “The classical Hindustani musical tradition is taught aurally, has no notation, and relies on the ability of master musicians to improvise new sounds informed by centuries of tradition. By contrast, Western classical musicians are expected to interpret complex musical scores, aided by a conductor. These are two deeply different musical traditions and we have much to learn from each other. BCMG are always keen to make new strides in music making and we are extremely excited at the tantalising prospect of working with our guests from Pakistan and Bangladesh.”

Music in Dialogue culminates in two concerts. On 3 July, BCMG musicians and Kamrul, Hashmi, Mohammed and Bari perform works by Western contemporary composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Ondřej Adámek before embarking on improvisations inspired by classical Hindustani music making.

On 30 June, Kamrul, Hashmi, Mohammed and Bari perform their own guest concert joined by an ensemble of young Birmingham musicians. Anyone who plays dhol, tabla or any South Asian drum, is invited to join BCMG and perform at this special sharing event.

Music in Dialogue is complemented by a series of workshops in Birmingham schools, where students will create new sounds inspired by the musical traditions of Europe and South Asia. 

If you play dhol, tabla or any South Asian drum and wish to take part in the Music in Dialogue sharing on 30 June, visit the BCMG website to register your interest.

Music in Dialogue is part of the Transforming Narratives project.

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