Council to work with Kings Cross’ first resident musician, Dame Evelyn Glennie, to inspire pupils

A musical composition inspired by the sounds and communities of Camden will be played this Friday by Kings Cross’ first resident musician, Dame Evelyn Glennie, with Camden Council looking to build on the project’s legacy.

‘Echoes from the Birdcage’ is the world premiere of a new composition by Jill Jarman in collaboration with percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, culminating her 2017 Musician in Residency at King’s Cross. Informed and inspired by the sounds collected and shared by the local community, it tells the story of King’s Cross in six movements, displaying many of the different aspects of the area and how much it has changed through history. 

If successful in winning London Borough of Culture and related funding, the council proposes to build on the project, commissioning Dame Evelyn to do further community work with Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children and primary schools pupils in the borough. The workshops will bring the sounds of ‘Echoes from the Birdcage’ to the borough’s schools, inspiring the pupils to produce their own ensemble pieces, which will be performed alongside Dame Evelyn at venues including KOKO, St Pancras Station and Central Saint Martins.

Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Promoting Culture and Communities, Councillor Jonathan Simpson said: “Dame Evelyn’s Echoes from the Birdcage project allowed members of the community to shape the production of a new composition, which embodies King’s Cross and its history.

“If we are successful in winning London Borough of Culture we want to further build on this community engagement and participation by commissioning Dame Evelyn to work with primary school pupils in Camden, including the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, to inspire them to produce their own compositions, which will be performed at some iconic Camden venues.

“Having a world class musician like Evelyn working with pupils can only serve as an inspiration to them and build upon our well-established music education work in schools, all of which will hopefully inspire children to pursue their own careers in music or related arts.”

Dame Evelyn Glennie said:

“Echoes from the Birdcage is based on a collection of sounds and rhythms that come together to tell a universal story about King’s Cross. The legacy project that I hope to deliver with Camden Council would build upon this further, with engagement work with children of all backgrounds, mirroring the diversity of Camden.

“Working collectively, the workshops would inspire children and young people, culminating in performances that would give children a chance to perform in some of Camden’s iconic venues and hopefully sparking aspirations to continue to a lifetime of arts or musical performance.”