WEYA Sunday Fiesta and Mandala at Market Square

Sunday 9th September 2021 - 15:30 - 21:30
Ayanna Witter Johnson

Sabar Soundsystem
Formerly known as BassToneSlap, this is Nottingham's exhilirating percussion group made up of some incredibly talented players. With a large selection of drums, hand decorated and re-skinned by group leader Mikey, they will pound, thump and create a strangely melodic rhythm that is beyond infectious and really inspiring!

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

 Ayanna Witter-Johnson is the exemplary British cellist, composer and singer performing at the WEYA launch event. Noted for her gift, she won scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music where she completed a master degree in Classical Composition. Whilst in New York, she composed for The Actors Company Theatre and was awarded an Artist in Residence at the International House. She was selected to participate in a master class with German composer Matthias Pintscher and stole 1st prize at Harlem’s Amateur Night Live at the Apollo.

At the Trinity College of Music London, she gained first class honours in Classical Composition, and was awarded the Trinity Silver Award for achievement. Internationally acclaimed composer Nitin Sawhney chose Ayanna to partake in his Aftershock project at the Southbank Centre. She was one of the first ‘Emerging Artists in Residence’ there between 2007 and 2009, leaving to tour the UK as part of the Jazz Warriors Afropeans, a band formed by legendary British saxophonist Courtney Pine CBE. She has played with the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra, been part of London Symphony Orchestra’s Discovery Panufnik Young Composers Scheme and has worked on a number of prestigious projects only further announcing this young woman as a bastion for female musicians in the UK.

Her technique is intricate and profound. Tapping complex rhythms on the body of her cello as she plucks with her left hand, she weaves a myriad of cross-cultural patterns, taking influence from a broad spectrum of music. Singing in classical-come-jazz vocals, her tone sits in perfect opposition to the deep bass of the cello for an unbelievably beautiful performance.

Sulk Station 

Sulk Station is made up of Bangalore duo Tanvi Rao and Rahul Giri. Their ambient triphop/dubstep softly pulses an experimental beat pattern, layering the ethereal vocals of Rao on top to create a mystical genre that fuses classical Indian melodies with contemporary electronic music. With jazzy notes intrinsic to groups like Portishead, and the contrasting rhythms of acts like Four Tet, their unprecedented soundscapes illustrate a picture of modern day Indian musicianship as influenced by Western artists, but with a distinct flavour native to their homeland.

Sulk Station will be performing their recently released debut album, ‘Till You Appear’, a
work which has garnered international praise. Credited with being unique in their hypnotic
sound, media stations across India, including MTV Desi, are hailing this group as the next
big thing to come out the country.

Using a multitude of computers, sound equipment and instruments, the looped beats and

uplifting bass engulf the listener in a body moving groove whilst Rao’s enchanting vocals
wrap round the mind for an all encompassing experience. Minimalist yet complex in its
affect, the atmospheres present in the work are an aural delight.

Mandala

MANDALA is a dazzling free outdoor performance fusing international and British Asian music and dance with spectacular 3D digital projections. The buildings will be brought to life with stunning digital projections and visual effects triggered by the live dance, music and audience interaction.

MANDALA (Sanskrit for ‘circle’) will unite exciting British Asian dancers Devika Rao and Aakash Odedra, BBOY’S ATTIC choreographed by MARSO and a company of artists, merging the beautiful forms of classical Asian dance with edgy, urban attitude. With a powerful soundtrack, featuring the music of world-class artists Anoushka Shankar and Zakir Hussain, and a special live appearance by multi award-winning tabla artist, Talvin Singh, MANDALA will be the free outdoor multimedia spectacle not to miss!

MANDALA is a bold, new collaboration between sampad South Asian arts and leading arts & technology company, seeper.


There will also be six roaming performers to keep you entertained as you move from one event to the next.

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