In celebration of the wonderfully restored organ at St John’s Church in Notting Hill, a special concert will take place at the Church on Carnival weekend that will combine the sounds of the organ with steel pan music and The London Gypsy Orchestra!
Taking place on 24th August 2013, the concert will feature this unusual combination of sounds and music, and will also include a specially composed piece for the occasion. Entitled One Day in Grunistan, the piece has been composed by Gundula Gruen, the critically-acclaimed violinist and leader of the The London Gypsy Orchestra, and tells the story of one day in an invented country. This concert will fully encompasse one of the aims of the now-restored organ – its use in new musical territories.
The 18th-century organ (shown below) at St John’s Church has been restored with the help of some generous support by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Fund is also supporting the other activities that are taking place as part of the celebrations for the restored organ, the St John’s Organ Project – these include a history exhibition; a film project documenting the organ’s restoration; workshops for local schools; lectures and further concerts in the future.
The grade II* listed instrument is not only surely one of the most impressive organs in the whole of London, but also holds important historical value – particularly its association with William Wilberforce and his mission to abolish slavery.
The London Gypsy Orchestra is made up of 45 enthusiastic musicians from an assortment of backgrounds and cultures, performing music that is typically found in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. One of the orchestra’s aims is to provide opportunities for communities in London to engage with Roma music and culture. You can see an example of their music in this video:
The concert at St John’s Church will be a fantastic opportunity to see this wonderfully historic church organ back in action, as well as providing a very unique way of celebrating the Notting Hill Carnival!
More details on the St John’s Organ Project and the restoration on the organ can be found on the website www.stjohnsorganproject.com.
Further details on the concert can be found at www.londongypsyorchestra.co.uk/#/lgo-special-concerts/4569264981.
St John’s Church