Paragon ensemble mark 30th anniversary by showcasing recent collaborations

Glasgow-based group's birthday features Heather Corbett and a Bhangra remix.

Paragon ensemble mark 30th anniversary by showcasing recent collaborations

Happy Birthday to Paragon! For the past thirty years, the Glasgow-based ensemble has been making music, much of it commissioned from Scottish based composers, and encouraging people from all walks of life to enjoy it. For their special 30th birthday event – Paragon at 30: Travelling Home – the multitude of strands which come together under the Paragon heading include a premiere from Gareth Williams, a Bhangra remix of Tommy Fowler’s Take One, Scottish Dance Theatre in Make Music Move, which has been created with young wheelchair dancers, traditional melodies from around the world and children from Govanhill performing their own new contribution to the ensemble’s wealth of repertoire.

‘It’s a major event showcasing the fantastic work that Paragon has achieved in recent times,’ says founder member and creative director Ninian Perry. ‘It shows off all the various things that Paragon does.’ The Fowler piece is originally for string quintet, flute and horn, but has been reincarnated by hip hop DJs Tigerstyle. Williams’ new composition is inspired by Roma music and features percussionist Heather Corbett playing the cimbalom, a hammered dulcimer which is commonly found in eastern European countries.

‘Paragon is aware of the new migrant communities in Glasgow and the opportunity for cultural enrichment, entertainment and education through music,’ says Perry. ‘There is quite a large population of Roma in Glasgow, mainly from Slovakia and Romania, and we are drawing them together through music.’ Williams has based his piece on the traditions of the European gypsy style as heard in the music of composers such as Bartok and Kodaly. ‘Music is incredibly important,’ says Perry, ‘as no matter where people are living, they carry their music around with them and music is where people feel at home. That’s why we’ve called the event Travelling Home.’

CCA, Glasgow, Thu 17 Feb

Travelling Home

Thirtieth birthday celebrations for Paragon come in the shape of Roma-influenced pieces performed by the Paragon Ensemble, Make Music Move dancers and Kaleidoscope who mix Scottish and international music and melodies.


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