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As You Are

Categories: Cultural Site, Music
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About Course

Inspired by the architecture of Leeds and his African heritage, South African composer and musician Abel Selaocoe paints emotional soundscapes to accompany you on your journey. With performances from the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North interwoven with Zimbabwean mbira player Anna Mudeka, Moroccan guimbri expert Simo Lagnawi, and djembe virtuoso Sidiki Dembélé from the Ivory Coast.

Starting at the Victoria Gate shopping centre, the 30-minute auditory exploration takes walkers through the ornate County Arcade and down towards Leeds Bridge – the River Aire acting as both a musical and physical turning point. Then on to the Corn Exchange for a harmonious circuit of the building’s majestic interior. As you make your way around the city, the various landmarks will trigger melodic milestones, giving you beautifully synchronised music that offers new meaning to the buildings around you, transforms the way you see the urban landscape, and embraces the healing power of walking.

“A stirring combination of vocal and instrumental talent… Selaocoe’s way of reinventing the cello went straight to the heart”
★★★★ — The Daily Telegraph on Abel Selaocoe

“One of the most captivating performers the classical music world can lay a claim on…”
★★★★ — The Guardian on Where is Home

Event sourced from Leeds Year of Culture 2023, Part 1 Programme Guide.

As You Are Credits

Presented in partnership with Opera north, Leeds 2023, Victoria Leeds and Leeds Corn Exchange. Supported by Leeds City Council.

Image: Matt David

Abel Selaocoe Words and music
Benjamin Woodgates Arrangements for Orchestra and Chorus
Clark Rundell Conductor

The Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North
Abel Selaocoe Cello and vocals
Sidiki Dembele Dunduns, Djembe, Ngoni Talking Drum and Calabash
Simo Lagnawi Gimbri and vocals
Anna Mudeka Mbira and vocals
Cameron Malcolm Orchestra and Chorus recording and editing
Jamie Saye Soloist recordings
Calum Malcom Mixing and mastering

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What Will You Learn?

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United Kingdom, Leeds

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United Kingdom, Leeds