Music across borders documentary to premiere at University of Ghana


The Ghana premiere of “Music Across Borders”, a documentary film on how music crosses many borders, will on Saturday September 10, be screened at the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio, University of Ghana, Legon.

Created and directed by Gameli Tordzro, the documentary which forms part of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Large Grant project, Researching Multilingually at The Borders of Language, The Body, Law and The State (RM Borders). The research film responds to today’s migration debates and explores musicians’ view on how their music encounters and negotiate some of these borders and impacts on people across the world.

RM Borders is led by Professor Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies at the School of Education University of Glasgow. The project which has many collaborating partner institutions across the world is in collaboration with the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana.

The film and its screening is a part of Tordzro’s research into Creative Arts and Translating Cultures and centers on Danish jazz musician, composer and saxophonist, Katrine Suwalski and her band, “Another World”. The screening event and concert closes, the weeklong early career researcher development co-writing collaboration between researchers in the School of Performing Arts, Durham University, University of Tucson Arizona and the University of Glasgow.

It equally features a musical journey the band made to Ghana in 2015 and their collaboration with Ghanaian musicians Tina Mensah aka Elivava and Okyerema Kwamena Pra. The film, which premiered in Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark) earlier this year, explores the musicality of language and treats music as language.

As part of the premiere, there will be a chat by Tordzro and Suwalski followed by a concert featuring Suwalski, Elivava and Okyerema Pra, who are featured in the film. They will be backed by the atenteben maestro, Dela Botri and Hewale Sounds.

Tordzro’s documentary film making is driven by his passion for music and its role and importance in everyday life. Already theatre director, a traditional musician and composer, his filmmaking career started from the National Film and Television Institute in Accra with his award winning student film “The Plight of Our Music and Dance” (Winner Best Documentary Award, NAFTI Students Festival 1995)

It comments on how Ghana is in danger of losing its rich music and dance traditions. He is also the winner of a Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (2015) for his work with Scotland based German theatre director Kai Fischer’s “Last Dream” (On Earth).

Hewale Sounds and Suwalski are also scheduled to perform at the Piano Bar in Accra on Friday September 9 and +233 Jazz & Grill Bar on Sunday September 11 and Saturday, September 17.

Tordzro, who is expected to arrive in the country soon, is currently in performance at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival 2016 in Fischer’s National Theatre of Scotland production ‘Last ‘Dream (On Earth).

By Baba Abdulai

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