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COOLture Conversations


Writer Cassandra Parkin

Rappers from Tang Hall SMART

Exploring gamelan with Castaway Goole

Experimenting with taiko

The original Hull Rhythm Pixies line-up

University of York Gamelan Sekar Petak Ensemble
As part of the Music4U programme, NCEM is working with Hull City Council's Creative Voice programme to develop a spectacular multi-cultural performance event, in celebration of the 10th birthday of the COOLture Youth Cultural Arts Festival. The final performance will take place in Hull City Hall on Saturday 17 June, 1-3pm, and will be preceded by a host of diverse creative collaborations, under the banner COOLture Conversations, taking place across Hull, York and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

COOLture Conversations reflects the experiences of young people growing up across this region, exploring their roots and the routes they take as they journey through their lives. Their stories will be presented via a musical melting pot of Javanese gamelan, Japanese Taiko, South Asian artforms, urban & electronic music and spoken word, created by regional youth groups, supported by Hull-born author Cassandra Parkin and musicians from SAA UK, Music4U, Humber Taiko, Tang Hall SMART, Castaway Goole and the University of York. COOLture Conversations is part of the celebration of the 'Roots & Routes' season of Hull City of Culture 2017.

COOLture Conversations collaborations include:
  • Home-educated young people and members of Hempland Kids Club, working with Tang Hall SMART musicians Sue Williamson and Neil Card, gamelan musicians Emily Crossland and Ángel Cataño Flores, and members of the University of York Gamelan Sekar Petak ensemble. Together, they will work to find relationships between rap and gamelan and will perform their work as part of the York Concerts series on Friday 19 May at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, as well as at the COOLture Youth Cultural Arts Festival.
  • Young people with and without disabilities, coming from music programmes at Castaway Accessible Music Theatre and Junction Goole School of Rock, working together with gamelan musicians Emily Crossland and Ángel Cataño Flores, University of York Community Music MA student and singer/songwriter Maddy Sutton, and writer Cassandra Parkin, to develop new approaches to songwriting using gamelan.  An informal first sharing will take place at Castaway Goole on Saturday 3 June, at which the University of York gamelan ensemble will also perform.
  • A large-scale multi-cultural youth collaboration in Hull, led by community musician Donna Smith and the Hull Rhythm Pixies world fusion ensemble (which started as part of Music4U's Youth Music Mentors programme in 2008) and engaging young people through the Anatolian Society and Solidarity Youth. Drawing on the musical expertise of all involved, this will blend Javanese gamelan, West African rhythm, electronic soundscapes, DJing, beatboxing and singing.
  • A partnership between Hull & East Riding Hindu Cultural Association and SAA-UK, enabling Hull-based young people to develop their skills in South Asian instruments and to receive specialist professional tuition.
  • Regional Japanese drumming specialists, Humber Taiko, will share this lively and physical artform with Hull Youth Clubs and will also lead workshops as part of the COOLture Lord Mayor's Gala event on Saturday 10 June in Hull's Queens Gardens.
Hull-born writer, Cassandra Parkin, will also be involved, meeting with and interviewing many of the above young musicians, exploring their views on cultural identity and using their responses to create a new written piece, which will also feature as part of the final COOLture Conversations performance on Saturday 17 June in Hull City Hall.

COOLture is organised and supported by Hull City Council (Arts Development and Youth Development Service), in partnership with Music4U, and is a Creative Voice event. Creative Voice is Hull's youth arts development programme offering young people the opportunity to participate and progress in the arts with the opportunity to take part in workshops, performances, festivals, exhibitions and Arts Award. The COOLture Conversations project is made possible through the generous support of the National Foundation for Youth Music, Hull City Council, Hull Music Hub and the University of York.