About the London Zoo Residency
ZSL London Zoo is steeped in cultural history: it is one of the oldest in the world. It has an as yet untapped resource for creativity. It brings to life not only the animals that live within it, and the worldwide conservation programmes at its heart, but can also make connections as a cultural hub and key live performance venue for London.
This residency will open the possibility for highly creative and unique live performances and partnerships with the animals and their keepers in the aviaries and enclosures in London Zoo.
Why select the musicians in residence?
Tapping into the resurgence of British traditional folk music, Andy Mellon from Bellowhead and Ben Nicholls from Seth Lakeman’s Band, members of two of the UK’s most successful folk acts, were selected to spearhead this residency. Both have performed across the world as ambassadors for the music they play.
With the wealth of material from the folk cannon pertaining to the natural world and man’s life alongside it, Ben and Andy are able to draw on the expertise of a host of fellow musicians and instruments to create exciting and dynamic performances with an ever-changing line-up, which will enthrall and engage with the tourist audience at London Zoo.
Having already created work with 150 school children at the Southbank Centre (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner) and the homeless charity Streetwise Opera, as well as future collaborations planned with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Andy and Ben are well versed and passionate about collaborative “people-based” projects. It is an integral part of the zoo’s mission for it to be seen as a cultural hub and so these artists will integrate themselves wholly with this venture.
A small intimate gig will be performed for the zoo staff, which will be followed by a live performance for the public planned for June 2012