A collage of five women: Eleanor Alberga, Hannah Catherine Jones, Hannah Kendall, Dr. Shirley J. Thompson OBE, and Errollyn Wallen MBE.

British Music Collection Guest Curator Clifton Harrison explores the relationship between identity and aesthetic with five incredible and distinctive composers.

My name is Clifton Harrison. I am a classical musician and researcher.  I am the viola player in the London-based Kreutzer Quartet, and I also spend a lot of time researching all manner of things musical. The notions of identity and aesthetic often come up in various forms in my work so the relationship between the two intrigues me.  This project looks at this relationship with five incredible and distinctive composers.

Eleanor Alberga, Hannah Catherine Jones, Hannah Kendall, Dr. Shirley J. Thompson OBE, and Errollyn Wallen MBE.

They are British, all have Caribbean roots, and are women. Is this identity? What, if anything, does it have to do with their musical aesthetic? I sat down with each composer to discuss this along with their lives (past and present), style, creative process, commissions, favourite works, social issues, and obstacles.  I started this journey wanting to find out how much of a composer’s musical aesthetic is informed by their identity.  Perhaps this was presumptuous from the start. Watch this five-part series to find out what each of these amazing human beings had to say.

Watch every episode above or on YouTube:

Episode 1: Eleanor Alberga

Episode 2: Hannah Catherine Jones

Episode 3: Hannah Kendall

Episode 4: Prof. Shirley J Thompson OBE

Episode 5: Errollyn Wallen MBE

Directed and produced by Clifton Harrison

Camera and editor: Clifton Harrison

Sound: Clifton Harrison

Titles and post-production: Clifton Harrison

A full list of photo and video credits can be found at the end of each film.

Thank you to Eleanor Alberga, Hannah Catherine Jones, Hannah Kendall, Dr. Shirley J. Thompson OBE, Errollyn Wallen MBE, Alex Gowan-Webster, Alex Noble, Helen Sanderson, Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Rambert Dance Company, Southbank Centre, Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield, and many more.



Clifton Harrison

More information at www.cliftonharrison.co


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Identity & Aesthetic: Five British-Caribbean Composers