January 16, 2020

How do residents of an area of deprivation and an orchestra, meaningfully work together?

Paul MacAlindin, 51

As a Govan musician, I respond to this area of deep, multiple deprivation with an orchestra. The Glasgow Barons morph into whatever each space needs, reanimating their acoustics whilst serving local hip-hop, church, school and heritage communities. Working with local organisations, our bold new narratives weave threads of local heroines and heroes, ancient symbols, worship, poverty and exile. Our community music projects bring pupils, residents, asylum seekers, composers and players together in shared spaces to break down barriers and provide access to top notch performances in diverse contexts, which challenge and delight. Tackling deprivation, we help positively reimagine Govan in people’s ears, bringing folk together where music otherwise divides along sectarian and cultural lines, hiring local service providers and publicising Govan as an up-and-coming arts location. The asylum seekers and refugees of Musicians in Exile passionately share all they have, the music of their homelands. Throughout, I try to answer an underlying question, “Do we deserve this?” with persistence, hope and love. Our first strategic hurdle is to build up enough of a creative head of steam, in time for the Govan-Partick footbridge opening in 2021, connecting us directly with the West End.

The Glasgow Barons, 2019Concerts and community music in Govan