NITRO pioneers Generations, an ongoing community participation programme that inspires and engages people of all ages through performances, workshops and digital media resources. Generation’s brings together emerging and established artists to create new work with, and inspired by, marginalised community groups. A key part of Generations is the development of strong online resources that will enable otherwise culturally disenfranchised audiences to access NITRO’s high quality artistic work.
The next stage of Generations will take place from January 2011 to December 2012. There are currently 5 parts to the work:
generations: nitro ignites
Nitro Ignites is a summer programme supported by Youth Music where young people aged 14 – 18 from around the ‘Market Road’ area will work with a team of professional music artists to create their own music, by learning how to play a range of instruments, singing, song-writing, rapping and music production in preparation for two showcase events at the end of the summer. The first as part of the Platform Festival in July and the second at the end of August, framed against the backdrop of London’s Notting Hill Carnival!
The content of their show will be themed around both modern and historical stories from the Market Road Estate. This will be performed by those living on and around this specific area.
‘The Market road’ area has a notorious background and history for being a difficult area within the London Borough of Islington. For the last decade young people around the Market road area have been labelled and stigmatised into pigeon holes of negativity. While working with these young people on a recent pilot project, it came to light that these young people simply needed an opportunity in which to demonstrate their talents. Which is where Nitro Ignites comes into play.
The workshops will run once weekly starting Monday 6th June – Monday 4.30pm – 6.00pm. until, September 2011. It will specialise in teaching young people aged 14 – 18 a range of skills as young musicians; specifically teaching them the basics of learning how to play an instrument as well as skills in music production, singing, rapping, song writing and performance.
For more information on the Nitro IGNITES Project please contact Simone Watson on 0207 609 1331 or email email@example.com
GENERATIONS: SECRET SINGERS
Secret Singers is a participatory music project, giving a voice to black people affected by mental illness. In partnership with healthcare providers, organizations and individuals, Nitro will investigate the disproportionately high incidence of mental illness amongst the black population. Together with writer/artist/curator Michael Macmillan, a creative exchange will take place, encouraging patients and ex-patients to articulate their experiences. Using this material, Artistic Director Felix Cross will compose original, insightful and powerful music for choral performance. This work will be recorded, shared and performed in a manner which allows the participants to take a lead role – be it singing with the NITROvox choir, recording a video diary, or assisting behind the scenes. Secret Singers will leave a lasting legacy in the form of a recording, a touring production, a support network or choir of which Nitro, its professional associate artists and partners, and most importantly, its participants, can be proud.
Generations: At The End of the Rainbow 9th March @ Freeword Centre, London
We commissioned three pairs of poets and composers to work with different community groups, then write and compose a new piece to be performed live and then filmed and broadcast live online via our website. We worked with a wonderful local (to Islington, where we are) community arts company called All Change Arts – look them up online and see what they’re getting up to.
We chose some of the best artists around: Alex Wilson, Robert Mitchell, Arun Ghosh, Yemisi Blake, HKB FiNN and Zena Edwards; I think you’ll agree they’re all out of the top drawer and we were really excited to have them working for us.
Whilst it was Yemisi Blake’s first time with Nitro, for the rest it will be a welcome return; Alex Wilson wrote and recorded the amazing score for The Wedding Dance; he was one of the nine composers we commissioned for A Nitro At The Opera and subsequently for Rake – both with the Royal Opera House; and he has been our Musical Director on Mass Carib.
Robert Mitchell was also a composer on Rake and played keyboards in Mass Carib at Trafalgar Square; Zena Edwards wrote the rap lyrics for Slamdunk; Arun Ghosh was also a Rake composer and HKB FiNN co-wrote the libretto for Rake. Check out each and every one of these fine artists you’ll see they have high national and international profiles and have worked with some of the most incredible artists in the world.
Our community groups covered a wide range of experiences and type: from day centres for the elderly to refugee groups and young people’s projects.
We successfully live streamed the event from this very website and increased our audience by 100%. Watch this space for the exclusive video footage we recorded from the event. Coming Soon!
generations: mass carib – 26th January 2011
This renowned piece of music was performed at the extraordinary venue that is Kings Place, near Kings Cross, on 26 January. However, this was Mass Carib with a difference. First, it was sung by NITROvox – just 8 singers and 2 percussionists – presenting the bulk of the 50-minute piece. Secondly, as part of Nitro’s community outreach programme, a local group of amateur singers learnt and performed a section of Mass Carib alongside NITROvox. Plus beatboxer Marvill accompanied NITROvox in the performance to amazing effect!
In February 2010 Nitro produced Mass Carib for Haiti and raised over £2,000 for the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake that destroyed large parts of the country. One year on, Mass Carib at Kings Place followed on from that as we celebrated and remembered the people, culture and history of Haiti. Over our two Haiti events we have raised over £2,500!
We streamed the performance live online from our website – a first for Nitro! Approximately 200 people tuned in and watched the event live from the comfort of their homes. Check out exclusive footage of the event below!!
CLICK: Audiences Online
NITRO’s target audiences are BME people in the UK, of all ages and cultures. As a national touring company, NITRO is only able to reach specific parts of the UK on a limited basis (a production may tour to Manchester, for example, for just one week per year). This means that regular, quality engagement with such communities is a challenge.
Government statistics show that, despite considerable investment over the last decade, only a small percentage of the UK’s BME population are regular (or even occasional) theatre-goers and that the vast majority do not consider the theatre when planning cultural events.
We believe the expansion of our creative online presence is a vital way forward. To capitalise on this positive connection we will develop an online database, commissioning, filming, streaming and downloading links to NITRO’s work. This will help to develop our online audiences on a local and national level.
The finished product of Mass Carib, At The End Of The Rainbow and Secret Singers will be uploaded onto NITRO’s website and broadcast online. We will look to create an interactive element, including but not limited to Live Streaming, which links NITRO’s virtual and actual audience database. This will be both an exciting piece of new work by NITRO and an audience development project bringing our work to those who enjoy cultural activity and may be encouraged to attend live theatre in future.