Music : Rania Chrysostomou & Sarah Parkin: On Being Vocal (lunchtime concert). Thursday 15th December 13:00

Rania Chrysostomou : composer
Sarah Parkin : soprano

Doors 12:30 | music 1pm | £8 cash / £6 concessions
Please pre-book to reserve a place via Eventbrite then pay on the door

A special lunchtime concert : On Being Vocal is aimed for mothers who want to attend contemporary music concerts but don’t have time available to go to  an evening concert due to their family responsibilities. The songs are about women’s and mothers’ unvocalized thoughts like the visceral experience of giving birth, the inequalities in the upbringing of boys and girls and how that affects our adult life, how rigid routines affect the mental health of a woman and a mother but feels guilty vocalising her thoughts mainly due to them going against social norms. The overall sound of the pieces is a fusion between lyricism, futuristic sounds and theatricality. The performance will be a cross between social commentary, theatre/ dance, vocal sounds and song, expanding the style of verbal and non-verbal storytelling.

‘My generation of women has grown up being imposed on certain expectations of how and what they are allowed to dream and aspire to be. I had to overcome these expectations on my journey to adulthood and womanhood  only to discover that once I became a mother – which according to the common voice of our society dictates that a woman has to be a mother – there are even more nuances that have been embedded as ‘acceptable behaviours’ in my subconscious (and other mum friends and blogs like Sarah @ London Mums Fitness have confirmed this as well) that again I had to overcome. For instance, how a mum is incapable of making her own decisions regarding her body, like knowing when she is tired or hungry; how anyone who is not part of the mum-baby duo freely imposes their views on how, when and for how long to feed her baby; and how she has no free will after becoming a mother. Another difficulty mothers face is time to attend cultural events that stimulate their minds as adult women and are not child oriented. Since most events take place in the evening when we are attending to our children’s needs, concerts that happen at the same time are missed as organising child care becomes another huge expense’.

Rania Chrysostomou is a British -Cypriot composer, whose mission is to engage new audiences in classical contemporary music. In June 2022 her music show Stories, Odes and Chants was performed in Cyprus with 3 performances in 3 different cities of the island. The show told the story of a young lady in a time long ago who went on a quest to find a mystical spider who weaved magical mantles that brought prosperity to anyone who had it. It featured poems by living Cypriot poets and traditional poems that she set to music. Three themes are prominent in her music. Womanhood which appears in the piece Statue of the Earth, inspired by the ancient Greek Goddess Hestia, commissioned by British singer – violist Katherine Clarke and performed in 2020 in London. Dealing with deeply personal feelings happens in her piece for percussion Tillein for an intimate percussionist, which is inspired by trichotillomania disorder, and was performed at PASIC (Percussion Arts Society International Convention) in Indianapolis in 2021, USA, by Dr. Alex Fragiskatos. And parenthood is a recurring theme or source of inspiration in her music and a recent example is the piece In The Clouds, performed by the flute percussion duo Plekό Duo. Musical storytelling is the backbone of her music and you can hear it in her piece Lockdown Diaries: The Death, commissioned and performed by Skipton Camerata in autumn 2020 which is an event that happened during the first lockdown. She has studied Music Composition at the University of York where she graduated in 2013 with a MA in Composition and at the Ionian University of Corfu, Greece she studied Musical studies and composition for the performing arts where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2012.

Canadian soprano Sarah Parkin specialises in new music and contemporary opera. She is an experienced deviser of new, immersive pieces and regularly incorporates physical theatre practices into her work. Most recently, Sarah premiered ‘Voices of the Sands’, a dramatic concert piece for three voices and harp with music by Michael Betteridge. Past performances include: ‘Four Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ by Angela Slater (Illuminate concert series); Music and the Brain by Helgi Ingvarsson (Tung Auditorium, Liverpool); originating the soprano role in A Kinder Society, an immersive opera by Amy Bryce (Stiftung Kunst and Musik für Dresden); and originating roles in ‘Wear’ and ‘Robe’ with UU Productions (for Tête-à-Tête and Metier record label).


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