The following pages are extracts from the programme of The City of London Sinfonia’s ‘Apocalypse Then…’ concert. The performance was held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s South Bank Centre, and featured a musical collaboration between the CLS and musicians such as Najma Akhtar together with storyteller Kevin Graal. The musical sequence “Improvisation” was based on workshops led by Graal, which explored riddles, mythology, African chants and childhood memories. Akhtar led the orchestra in an improvisational piece which started with the invocation of a Sanskrit prayer which slowly blended into raag based improvisation.
|Date of Creation / Publication||11/17/1992|
|Creator||City of London Sinfonia|
|Associated Person/ Organisation||Queen Elizabeth Hall|
|Collection and Reference Number||Najma Akhtar (GB 2661 NA)|
|Access to originals||The originals are located with Najma Akhtar|
|Series notes||Najma Akhtar began her musical career after winning the Asian Song Contest in Birmingham in 1984.|
Her first album, ‘Ghazals by Najma’, was produced in 1988 by the Indian director, Ravi. She began touring widely in the UK, Europe, Japan and the US after the release of her second album ‘Qareeb’ (Closeness).
With the help of a European promoter, Akhtar performed in numerous concerts and festivals throughout Europe such as the Lille and Bourges Festivals and in the Middle East, at the International Palestinian Jazz Festival in Jerusalem. Some of her highlights include performing at the WOMAD (The World of Music, Arts and Dance) concerts, the jazz stages at the Reading and Glastonbury festivals, headlining at London venues such as the Ronnie Scott’s, the Jazz Cafe and Waterman’s Arts Centre, and opening for Nina Simone at the Dominion Theatre.
She has performed throughout England in areas such as Croydon, Birmingham, Somerset, Scotland and Cornwall and often participates in Asian community festivals and fairs or melas. The digitised items in this section include a selection of flyers, programmes and photographs of Najma Akhtar’s national and international performances. The Najma Akhtar collection consists of material relating to her performances such as flyers, concert programmes, photographs and paraphernalia such as CD, tape and record sleeves, press releases and other promotional items.
|Collection notes||The Najma Akhtar collection consists of material relating to her performances such as flyers, concert programmes, photographs and paraphernalia such as CD, tape and record sleeves, press releases and other promotional items.|