Address: Vancouver, BC Canada

2005 - Music of the Heart

Cambridge Music Conference
17-21 July 2005
Clare College, Cambridge, UK

An open, inter-disciplinary conference 
on the theme of the heart -
its symbolism,
its expression through music
and its place in the living body. 

with
Nigel Osborne,
 Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University
The Hilliard Ensemble
Brian Keenan, Author and Broadcaster 
Margaret Colquhoun PhD, Goethean Scientist 
Michael Deason Barrow, Singer
David Campbell,Clarinettist
Sir John Tavener, Composer 
Patricia Rozario,
 Soprano

We gratefully acknowledge support from the Wellcome Trust through a SciArt Production Grant 

This conference aims to bring participants together from diverse backgrounds, including music, the performing arts, education and the sciences. It is to be an inclusive, enriching experience.

The nature of the heart can be interpreted in different ways. In everyday language the heart tends to be referred to as mediator of love, individuality or courage ("heart-broken", "heartfelt", "warm hearted", "heart-to-heart", "take heart"). In religious and mystical traditions, the heart has been accorded a key place in relation to spirituality (Sacred Heart, the heart chakra, and the Sufic Eye of the Heart). To a biologist, cardiologist or heart surgeon, heart function is understood in terms of a valved muscular pump that circulates the blood. To what extent are these metaphors, models or realities? In exploring them, can we discover something more about what it is to be human?

This conference aims to foster openness, questioning and receptive exchange through a combination of creative and scientific approaches. 
Three initiatives lie behind this conference:

Cambridge Music Conference "Music and the Word", the initiative of Elizabeth Carmack addresses the hazardous threat technology has made on the performing arts and advocates "music as a source of spiritual renewal". The ethos of healing at the heart of the Cambridge Music Conference on "Music and Healing" in 2001, "Music and Oral Tradition" in 2002, and "Music and Philosophy" in 2003, lives on in this new collaboration. The upcoming heart conference in July 2005 pays tribute to Elizabeth's late sister, cellist Catherine Carmack (12 October '57-12 December '03), the inspiration behind the Cambridge Music Conference. The heart conference opens within the context of the Cambridge Summer Music Festival with the Hilliard Ensemble performing at Trinity College Chapel. The Hilliard Ensemble's concert of sacred music includes the premiere of a new work by Nigel Osborne, Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University, whose new commission and opening lecture will explore the subtle relation of music and the heart. Elizabeth Carmack will lecture on "The Heart as Metaphor for the Spirit."

Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange’s contribution draws on the experience of a series of conferences on the heart arranged through the Medical Section of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain that have been informed by the work of Rudolf Steiner. Doctors and therapists have been meeting regularly over the last few years. Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange established Pericles Theatre Company, which brings together highly skilled professionals, trained amateurs and people with learning difficulties and mental health problems often unemployed and homeless. She has a background in theatre and storytelling, but has recently been involved in setting up art-, craft- and theatre-workshops for people with different needs. Paulamaria thinks we not only need highly skilled professionals in our world, but also those who, while ill, homeless, imprisoned or mentally impaired, have heart forces most of us lack. Her intention is to involve people from as many diverse backgrounds as possible.

The final full day of this conference, open to a wider public as part of the Cambridge Summer Music festival, will focus on the ‘work in progress’ of a creative collaboration between Sir John Tavener, composer, Wayne McGregor, choreographer, and Dr Philip Kilner, a heart imaging specialist at Royal Brompton Hospital. John Tavener has been commissioned, and the collaboration funded, through a Wellcome Trust ‘Sciart’ Production Grant. The new work, the first that Sir John has created specifically for performance with dance, is on the theme of the heart and will have its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells in London in September 2005. Presentation in the context of this conference and the Cambridge Summer Music Festival will be as part of the build-up towards the London premiere.

The informal concert on Wednesday evening will begin with the premiere of "Hope", a composition for clarinet and piano by Anthony Bailey commissioned by the 'Chain of Hope' charity, introduced by Sir Magdi Yacoub. The piece will be played by David Campbell, the internationally acclaimed Clarinettist, accompanied by Caroline Jaya-Ratnam at the piano. After this, Sir John Tavener will be discussing and performing his own music, with the soprano Patricia Rozario. Aspects of his new composition, resulting from his current Wellcome Trust collaboration with heart specialists, will be included.

Elizabeth Carmack
Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange
Dr Philip Kilner

 formerly hosted at musicoftheheart.co.uk