A World In London 317 - Shirley Thompson Thu, 2019-11-14 15:27

Shirley Thompson’s acclaimed Women of the Windrush production gets a rare London outing on Friday 15th November at Brunei Gallery SOAS, and this concert is an absolute must for everyone who loves music, culture, and history! At the heart of Shirley’s incredible career credentials, is a gifted story-teller that employs the full musical spectrum of an orchestra to tell stories that demand to be heard. Her mother is the inspiration behind this major work which Shirley first conceived through her film, ‘Memories in Mind’, back in 1991. Long before the Windrush Scandal, or Windrush anything became topical, Shirley was documenting how the Windrush Generation came to the UK, full of hopes and dreams, finding blatant racism, facing the bracing cold, damp, and pea-souper fogs, and in Shirley’s mother’s case, working in a factory before qualifying as a NHS nurse. It’s a migration experience that so many of us relate to but can’t fully articulate or translate to others, whereas Shirley is a gifted creative that can and does. When you hear her on this AWIL explaining how she evokes those experiences, imagined through 100+ musicians spread across woodwind, strings, percussion (especially timpani!), and brass, you realise that you’re listening to a genius.

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