Tim Steiner Ricardo Baptista

Tim Steiner & Ricardo Baptista


Tim Steiner is a UK-based composer with a specialty in devised and collaborative performance. His work is concerned with the unique potential of any moment of creative action.Tim has worked closely with many artistic and cultural organisations within Europe, including major collaborations with Porto, Bragança and Guimarães (Portugal), Ruse (Bulgaria), Bergen (Norway), Glasgow (Scotland) and many Cities throughout the UK. Tim leads Stopestra, a 100 piece ensemble of rock musicians, and has developed and directed hundreds of community based music projects during the past 30 years. Tim is currently working with Ondamarela, where he developed a Citizen's Orchestra Performance for the EU Presidency in Malta. With Ondamarela he will also be directing an ambitious year long community orientated music project, MEWĠA MUŻIKA, for Valletta 2018. Tim has Ph.D in collaborative composition.

Ricardo Baptista is a musician with a speciality in devising and developing work with diverse communities. He is the co-founder of ondamarela, and was the artistic director of “GuimarãesPlay", the main non-formal community-oriented music programme of Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture. He conceived and coordinated various large scale city wide music events with communities such as “Operação BigBang” and “Operação Oliveira” in Guimarães, “Real Orquestra da Grande Malha Ortogonal de Espinho” (2013, 2014, 2017), “Ovar’s Carnival Opening” (2015, 2016), “Orquestra da Bida Airada” – Ílhavo (2014-2017) and “Ode to Joy – a citizens orchestra” for the Presidency of the European Council – Malta (2017). 

Creative Orchestras and Cultural Identity

It is common practice for Cities to place their traditional high-art organisations at the fore-front of their place branding. The utmost example is the classical symphony orchestra. Such orchestras are of course, often also branded by their city. The London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are well known examples. But such traditional orchestras tend merely to reinforce a sense of conformity in cultural and social aspiration. They do not to celebrate the citizens of their cities, nor the uniqueness of their cities' culture. In a sense, they promote a kind of cultural blanding.

We're interested in the possibility that a city can be defined and identified by an orchestra of the people. This is an orchestra that welcomes all people, regardless of age, skill, experience, and instrument. This is an orchestra that is uniquely made up from the people resident in the city. It is one which aims to bring together the diversity of influences, sounds and ideas of the communities within the city. This is an orchestra which creates and arranges new music and which draws upon the uniqueness and potential of its members, and of the city. This is an orchestra which makes music that could not be made by another ensemble in another city. It is musical activity that is fundamentally connected to the people who are present, their personalities and attributes, and the time and place in which it operates.

This kind of orchestra is one which both shapes and is shaped by its context. It is an orchestra that challenges places, communities and individuals to rethink their relationship to art, and their understanding of artistic and cultural processes.

We propose that an orchestra of the people should be at the heart of cultural planning, place branding, and of the development of cultural identity and of cultural diplomacy.

Our presentation will explore this proposal drawing on our experiences throughout Europe and in particular, Guimarães 2012 and the current work leading to Valletta 2018.

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