Sounding out the city
has revealed music continues to be one of the major cultural driving
forces in Liverpool. As part of Liverpool’s UNESCO City of Music
Bid, which is set to be submitted in the next few months, a study
has shown the wealth of music on offer is outstanding. On average,
320 music events take place in the city every week, with around
1,150 musicians performing to an audience in the region of 68,000.
This equates to an impressive 1,700 hours - the equivalent of 71
days of non-stop music! The results came in as a Young People’s
music provision in Liverpool consultation event took place on
Wednesday, 18 May 2011, which will also be part of the shape the
final bidding document.
The project began last year with detailed research into the access
children and teenagers have to music - whether as part of their
formal education or looking at what facilities are in place outside
of school. The aim is to look at what is currently provided and
develop this over the next five years.
A map has been drawn up which gives a picture of the resources
available in the city - from community centres and music
organisations to youth centres and schools. It also details those
schools which work with Liverpool Philharmonic or Liverpool’s Music
Support Service to expand on their music provision.
The mapping exercise has so far found:-
► 77 primary schools and 12 secondary schools in the city council
area worked with Liverpool Philharmonic between 2008 to 2010
► 100 primary schools and 23 secondary schools in the city council
area engaged with Liverpool Music Support Service between 2008 to
► 48 youth and
community centres either offer, or would like to get involved with,
► 22 music organisations have events targeted at young people - but
this figure is expected to increase as the project continues and
more youth organisations are integrated into the music network
The event held on Wednesday, 18 May 2011, was a special consultation
event, at the Liverpool Contemporary Urban Centre to discuss young
people’s access to music. Representatives from the city council and
Youth Music hosted sessions, along with heads of music from
Liverpool’s schools and colleges, music organisations, members of
the music industry and a group a young people.
The event not only let the youngsters join in the discussions, they
also perform throughout the afternoon. Taking to the stage was
Earthworm - a four-piece rock group made up of 16 year olds; Rockin’
Beats - a guitar group consisting of 48 eight to nine year olds; and
an ensemble of musicians from the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure,
Councillor Wendy Simon, just be for the event told us:- "It’s
important to never underestimate the value of music education.
Studies have found that music plays an essential role in the
development of young children academically, physically and
emotionally. This is an extremely important consultation and
although the map itself is still in development, it gives everyone a
broad idea of what provision young people have access to. This is
not only a key part of our UNESCO City of Music bid, but it is also
part of the city’s commitment to improving music provision at all
levels and making sure young people have access to the highest
quality and broadest range of music possible. Wednesday’s event will
be a valuable forum where experts within the music industry to join
young people and have their say on the current situation and what
changes could be made in Liverpool in the future."
The consultation event comes following the Henley Review of Music
Education - commissioned by the Secretary of State for Education,
Michael Gove - and looks forward to the National Plan for Music
Education which is expected to be published later this year.
Simon Glinn, Chairman of the UNESCO City of Music Management Group
and Executive Director at Liverpool Philharmonic, which is leading
the UNESCO bid on behalf of the city said:- "Music is inherent
in Liverpool, entwined with the city’s history, present and future.
This is the latest, and final, part of a research process to enable
us to relate this musicality as part of our bid to UNESCO, in which
we have looked at ways of quantifying and mapping musical activity
in all its forms. The story is even more powerful than is first
apparent, both in extent and in quality, with groundbreaking music
education projects such as In Harmony in West Everton, bringing the
acclaimed Venezuelan El Sistema model to England. This is a leading
national example led by colleagues at Liverpool Philharmonic."
Liverpool City Council commissioned Creative Universe Ltd. to carry
out the mapping exercise which can be seen at:-
Director of Creative Universe, Gordon Ross, who is also working on
the bid, said:- "When we began co-ordinating Liverpool's
UNESCO City of Music bid and we were happily surprised by just how
much live music is performed in the city centre every week. As we
began to look at how young people engage with music, we were amazed
at the variety of activity taking place. Working with all the
partners we hope that, through events like tomorrow's consultation
with over 100 representatives of music organisations and activities,
we'll be able to build an effective network to improve how young
people participate in music training and development in the future."
Also involved in the project are the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic,
Liverpool Music Support Service, Liverpool Youth and Play Service,
Youth Music and Arts Culture and Media Enterprise.
FACT announces first Liverpool Arabic Film Festival
delighted to announce the first ever Liverpool Arabic Film Festival
(LAFF) in collaboration with the city’s long-running annual
multi-arts event Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival.
Liverpool Arabic Film Festival is the UK's only film festival
dedicated to film from the wider Arabic world. LAFF will examine the
history and politics of the Arabic-speaking world through the eyes
of renegade filmmakers such as the late great Egyptian director
Youssef Chahine, as well as contemporaries such as Yousry Nasrallah,
Marianne Khoury and Khaled El Hagar, whose films expose the culture
and identity of the fluctuating Arabic-speaking countries.
Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival was co-founded by the Bluecoat and
Liverpool Arabic Centre in 1998 and the first festival took place in
2002. It has become a hugely popular fixture at the heart of the
city’s cultural calendar and remains the only one of its kind in the
UK. Over the years the festival has grown to involve more partners
from the city’s arts and Arabic communities. In 2011, the festival
became completely independent, and appointed a guest curator,
This years 7 day festival includes UK premieres of The Man Who Sold
The World (2010) by Moroccan/Spanish siblings, The Noury Brothers,
and Marianne Khoury and Mustapha Hasnaoui’s documentary, Zelal
(2010), alongside re-mastered classics, Cairo Station (1958) and
Alexandria, Why? (1979).
The programme also includes discussions with significant Arab
filmmakers, such as Imad and Swel Noury,Khaled El Hagar, and
writers Malu Halassa, Brian Whitaker (The Guardian) and Omar El-Khairy.
Festival highlights include:-
Youssef Chahine’s The Land (1969), Cairo Station (1958) and
Alexandria, Why? (1979)
A rare opportunity to see a trio of classics by late Egyptian
director Youssef Chahine (1926 to 2008) in re-mastered 35mm. Chahine
made spectacular melodramas that gave birth to modern Arabic cinema,
but his films were controversial - confronting themes such as
homosexuality and government corruption.
The UK premiere - Zelal (2010)
The first Arab film to explore mental illness, Marianne Khoury and
Mustapha Hasnaoui’s documentary is a journey into two of Cairo’s
locked-door hospitals - unveiling run-down psychiatric units and a
state culture of neglect and disrepair. The screening will be
accompanied by a talk from psychoanalyst, Helen Taylor Robinson.
The North West premiere of Ahmad Abdalla’s award-winning feature
length, uncovering the underground art and music scene in
UK premiere - The Man Who Sold The World (2010)
An adaptation of Dostoevsky’s short story, A Faint Heart,
Moroccan/Spanish siblings Imad and Swel Noury’s The Man That
Sold The World (pictured) is an experimental slice of art house
cinema that pays homage to a mixture of European and Arabic
Two Liverpool premieres
FACT presents the Liverpool premiere of Palestinian filmmaker,
Michel Khleifi’s first fiction film in over a decade, Zindeeq
(2010), as well as auteur Palestinian filmmaker, Elia Suleiman’s
latest feature The Time That Remains (2009), which is presented on
35mm and accompanied by a special talk from Palestinian-born
playwright, Omar El-Khairy.
FACT Film Programme Curator Omar Kholeif said:- "In a city
that houses one of the largest Arab communities in the UK, and the
country’s only annual Arabic multi-arts festival, it’s a great
moment to launch a film festival showcasing Arabic cinematic talent.
It is also especially timely - with the constant changes and
restructures in the Arab world."
The 2011 event runs from 4 July to 10 July 2011 at FACT, Liverpool.
For more information visit:-
Official partners including FACT are also the Liverpool Philharmonic
and National Museums Liverpool.
15 arrested in money
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigating suspected money laundering
offences in excess of £200 million have arrested 15 people during
early morning raids across the North West, Yorkshire and
Nottinghamshire on 18 May 2011. Around 250 investigators from
HMRC, assisted by officers from a number of police forces, carried
out over 20 property searches in Rochdale, Manchester, Bradford,
Southport and Nottingham as part of the enquiry. The arrests come as
a result of a long-running HMRC investigation, codenamed Operation
Enigma. HMRC’s Deputy Director for criminal investigation Alan
Lee comments:- "Operation Enigma is an HMRC-led investigation
targeting money laundering offences. At various stages of the
investigation, we have worked closely with colleagues from Greater
Manchester Police and West Yorkshire & the Humber Police. Further
details cannot be provided at this early stage, as our investigation
is continuing. However, our activity today sends out a clear message
to those involved in this type of criminality. Attempts to launder
the proceeds of crime are treated extremely seriously by HMRC, and
we will relentlessly pursue any individuals or crime gangs believed
to be actively involved in money laundering."