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Sounding Cities


Sounding Cities is an interdisciplinary project between composers, artists and performers that links the cities of Johannesburg in South Africa and Birmingham in the UK.

Built around a series of commissioned photographs and works for saxophone and clarinet, the project speaks to the common spaces and creative synergies between these two vibrant cities. Saxophonist Naomi Sullivan and clarinettist Luke Newby, composer Clare Loveday (AOI Research fellow) and artist Nandipha Mntambo from Johannesburg, and Kirsty Devaney from Birmingham are working together to create a series of concerts that feature commissioned compositions and photographic works.

The project began in October 2017 when the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire hosted a concert of South African saxophone music. Titled “Crossing Paths”, the concert was the result of a series of networks linking players, composers, and the cities of Johannesburg and Birmingham. During the creation of this concert, it became increasingly clear that the two cities had a great deal in common and much to say to each other. The three core-contact people of the project – Naomi Sullivan, Luke Newby and Clare Loveday – decided to take the conversation further and Sounding Cities project was born.

Sounding Cities kicks off in Johannesburg on 16 August 2018 at the Centre for the Less Good Idea with a week of intensive work with the Johannesburg-based composer and artist and the performers. This will be followed by a series of concerts, workshops and masterclasses in Johannesburg and Durban. Later in the year, this same project will be featured in Birmingham.

For more information on the events and people involved, see

Dr Clare Loveday
+27 72 275 0088

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