Music brings people together in Riverside

Percussion rehearsal. Photo: River Music Project

A new music community project has been launched in Riverside. They hope it will provide an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to communicate and show the diverse culture in the area in a musical way.

The music project called “RIVER” came from a community meeting, which discussed social unrest and racism problems in Riverside. The organiser Nick Lewis says, he hopes that he can find a way to improve the community and bring people together in the area.

“Walking around, I thought that it would be good to change the narrative and do something positive. He added: “Like me and other musicians, if we start doing something positive, we can change what the conversation was about.”

The project is trying to gather musicians from different culture and backgrounds. They had their first open rehearsal last week, which was about how to play percussions. Mr Lewis found it worked well and said: “There’s just an amazing opportunity here because of this multi-cultural area. It’s a massive mix of people from all over the world, so suddenly we have a world music group even though we don’t mean to have a world music group. It’s just the nature of this area.”

Tabla Photo: (CC)

Gurushabad Singh, who’s a drum player in the group, comes from India. He started playing the dhol drum and the classic Indian drum – tabla when he was a child, and he thinks performing with artists from other countries is a special experience.

“When we first started, it was really strange and we didn’t have a plan. And when we came in and started it, I think either the people or the instruments I’m not sure which one, but the types of instruments we started with went really well. It’s very interesting to be a part in this performance.” said Gurushabad Singh.

The river music project is encouraging more people to join them. Nick Lewis says even people who don’t necessarily play music can participate with songs, poetry and stories. The group is busy practicing for their first formal performance which is expected to have six or eight  musicians performing to the public on 6th April.

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