Make Music Day – “River” – 21 June

As part of Make Music Day 2021, the team at Beyond Skin is collaborating with DONNE, Women in Music and Cairde Community Choir to produce a music arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’. The piece will be filmed at the stunning Lagan Meadows in South Belfast. The music video will be released on 21st June as part of the Make Music Day programme.

The DONNE Foundation makes a positive change in readdressing the gender inequality within the music industry and beyond. They began with their inspirational project DONNE, Women in Music with their future goal to expand the promotion of women in all artistic fields including music, film, theater, dance, literature as well as producers and many other sectors of the entertainment industry.

The DONNE Foundation was founded by Gabriella Di Laccio, an international award-winning soprano, recording artist, curator and activist who has become one of the leading voices on the fight for equality in classical music. Recognised by Sir Charles Mackerras as “a singer of outstanding talent”, Gabriella is a most unique and innovative artist whose expressive qualities have earned her recognition and praise from international audiences. She was listed as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspirational and influential women in the world in 2018.

Cairde Community Choir is supported by Clanmil Housing Association, who provide quality housing and pride themselves in engaging in a variety of capacity building community programmes and events. This choir is the first of its kind in housing in Northern Ireland, where housing and music come together to create unique musical experience to benefit the staff & tenants of Clanmil HA as well as the community as a whole.

The choir is led by soul singer Siobhan Brown of the soul funk band Manukahunney. Siobhan is also a conservation architect, director of Flamma Fire protection services & culture awareness trainer. Her aim is to teach people to enjoy and reap the benefits of singing no matter what level of singing ability people have. Her chosen medium for this is to teach the choir to sing in Acapella (without music) a skill that once mastered holds the key to the freedom and enjoyment of singing anytime anywhere.

The project is managed by Kira Topalian, Assistant Operations Manager at Beyond Skin. Kira is also a musician, songwriter, and actor, with an extensive background in the arts. Kira is a recent Master’s graduate of Queen’s University in the field of Conflict Transformation & Social Justice and has a passion for human rights and peace and reconciliation. She is especially passionate about the intersection between the arts and conflict transformation, and the positive and profound impact the arts have in these arenas.

The production will be filmed by Kaja Choma, a multi-media content creator working in the areas of photography, video production and project management. Kaja specialises in filming interviews, talks, keynote speeches, and corporate soundbites edited specifically for social media use and virtual distribution. The project is supported by Belfast City Council Belfast Music in partnership with Beyond Skin and Make Music UK.

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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.