肖像:ちちんわのくOBE

May 09 2022
不平等な世界で音楽と向き合う文明の歴史の中で、技術の進歩、科学、医学の進歩、宇宙と時間の物理学の理解など、多くの進歩が絶えず行われている一方で、その輝きのすべてを置くことは注目に値しますそして、ノーベル賞の達成は、集団グループとして、人間として、そして具体的には、人類は実際にはほとんど進歩していないという認識の隣にあります。試みはそこにありました。

不平等な世界で音楽に向き合う

ZenGrisdaleによる写真

文明の歴史の中で、技術の進歩、科学、医学の進歩、宇宙と時間の物理学の理解など、多くの進歩が絶えず行われている一方で、その輝きとノーベル賞の成果のすべてを隣に置くことは注目に値します集団グループとして、人間として、そして具体的には、人類は実際にはほとんど進歩していないことに気づきました。

試みはそこにありました。変化と進歩のための動きですが、常にこの大きな抵抗があり、すべての人にとって明らかに前向きなものに私たちを前進させるためのすべての努力の下から敷物を引き出します。それはどこでも起こります、そして、私たち全員が一緒に行く必要がある場所のいくつかの始まりの概念へのシフトがつい最近になりました。

何ができたのか、何ができたのか、多くのことを見逃してしまいました。統一され平等であるという私たちの可能性の楽観的な理想という考えは、実現にはほど遠いものです。しかし、それでも私たちは自分自身のために、そしてお互いにもっと良いものに向かって動き続けたいという果てしない願望を持っています。

人文科学、特に「ハイカルチャー」における広範な排除には長い歴史があります。ブラック・ライヴズ・マターの結果として、私たちは文化施設に大きな変化が見られ始めたばかりであり、それはさわやかです。やるべきことはまだたくさんあります。前向きな変化を起こさなければならない創造的な贈り物を使うのは、私たち全員の責任です。

これを知って生きているのがチチヌワノクです。これは、もはや待つことができない何かへの道を示す物語です。明日は今日であり、過去に生きる時間はもうありません。戻ることはなく、前進するだけです。

最初のいくつかの背景 —彼女の言葉で

Chi-chi Nwanoku:電球の瞬間となぜChinekeについて話すべきだと思います!存在します。

私はChinekeの前にすでに35年のキャリアを持っていました!存在しました—ステージだけでなく、講堂全体で私が唯一の黒人であったキャリア。つまり、舞台裏の乗組員、管理乗組員、オーケストラ、オーケストラの理事会、私たちが演奏していたレパートリーの作曲家を意味します—民族性に関しては、私は奇妙な人でした。

それは私が成長した年齢、子供の頃に成長した時代のせいでもありました。父はナイジェリア人、母はアイルランド人でした。彼らの文化は両方ともイギリスによって植民地化されました。彼らが1950年代にイギリスに到着したとき、彼らは両方ともすでにイギリス市民でした。彼らは母国を離れる前に描かれたあまりきれいではない絵に到着しました。彼らはかなり敵対的な環境に到着しました。

私の母はアイルランド南部出身で、父はナイジェリアの南東、イボ人の出身でした。彼らはただ頭上に屋根をかぶろうとしていました。彼らは、広告が借りる部屋があると言っているリードをたどり、そこに着くと、部屋を借りている家の正面玄関または正面の窓に定期的に通知を見つけました。通知には、黒人、犬、アイルランド人はいないと書かれています。私の両親はお互いを見て、ユーモアのセンスがあるので、「まあ、私たちは犬を飼っていないので、3人に2人しかいないので、試してみましょう」と言いました。それで彼らはドアをノックしました。

その信じられないほどのユーモアのセンスと彼らがお互いに持っていた愛情は常に存在していました。彼らは、社会に関する限り、黒人と白人のカップルが一緒にいるはずはありません。

私の母の家族は、彼女が結婚していたので彼女に背を向けました:A:黒人男性、B:カトリックではなかった男性。実際、母はよく私にこう言いました。「両親にとってどちらが最悪だったかはわかりません。それは宗教だったと思います!」

アイルランド・カトリック南部の宗教は信じられないほどでした。それはただ容赦なく動かせなかった。そして、彼らはそれらすべてに対処する必要がありました。彼女は二度と彼らの玄関口を暗くしないように言われた。

私の父は、ナイジェリアを離れる前は教師であった、信じられないほど法を順守し、正直な市民でした。教育は彼の議題で非常に高く、大家族は両方の議題で非常に高くなっています。私は5人の子供のうちの最初の子供であり、父が私たち全員に本当に教え込んだことの1つは、同化することでした。そういうわけで、私はどういうわけか、私のバックグラウンドから来た人々を特に歓迎していない業界に参入することができました。

それは、私がどのようにしてクラシック音楽をやったのかを言うのに長い道のりです。私は一種の明るい目とふさふさした尾でした。きちんと練習し、集中して、すべての正しい音符を正しい順序で演奏すれば、もちろん、クラシック音楽業界でうまくやるべきではない理由はありませんでした。私はただ平均的または平均以上になること、あるいは単に非常に良いことさえ許されませんでした。私はいつも、受け入れられるためには並外れたものでなければならないというプレッシャーを感じていました。私は今、別の方法でそれを知っています。子供の頃、私の父、彼はいつも言っていました。あなたが面接に来て、あなたが面接している他の人とまったく同じ資格を持っているなら、それはあなたが仕事を得るのに十分ではありません。彼は人種差別について、そして人生が私たちに投げかけるかもしれないことに備える方法について非常に穏やかな方法で私たちに教えていました。

2020/21年の間に、私はおそらく世界中で100回の講演を行いました。ケンブリッジ大学からジュリアード、USC、サンタバーバラのアナーバーまで、フェスティバル、温室、機関、組織、オーケストラに基調講演を行いました。そしてもちろん、ジョージ・フロイドが殺害されたときに急上昇し、多様性について、そして私たちがどのようにしてすべての人にもっと大きな包摂感をもたらす必要があるかについて話し合う必要がありました。

これは、Chineke!で私たちが本当に誇りに思っていることの1つであり、非常に包括的です。チネケには見えないもの!同じ背景や民族から並んで座っている2人です。あなたはそれを見ないでしょう。あなたはたくさんの異なる肌の色を見るでしょう、大部分は黒で民族的に多様です、そしてあなたは白、そして人間に知られている肌の色のあらゆる色合いを見るでしょう。それは、特に黒人が自分たちが奇妙な人ではないことを見て、感じることができるものの1つです。すべてのChinekeの後で、今は少し変更されている可能性があります。プロジェクト、私たち全員が、私たちが一緒に演奏したオーケストラやグループの中で唯一の黒人であることに戻りますが、Chinekeがあったことを知っています!現在ネットワークとサポートシステムの一部となっているミュージシャンの家族。- 今、

最初の2つのコンサートは厳密に黒人で、民族的に多様でした。なぜなら、私は声明を出し、非常に心に訴える認識チェンジャーで着手したかったからです。人々の認識を変えなければ体系的な変化を起こすことはできないからです。黒人は悪い、黒人は犯罪者、黒人は教育を受けていない、黒人は暴力的、黒人は攻撃的、黒人は何も整理できない、そして3人の黒人を見るとあなたに向かって歩いている男性はおそらく問題を意味します。道路をすばやく横断します。そうしないと、攻撃されます。黒人でさえ、私たちがニュースを通して洗脳されてきた方法と出て行くものの報道のために、ニュースがプロパガンダによってある意味で非常に影響を受けている方法を考えるように訓練されています。悲しいことに、幼い黒人の子供たちでさえ、彼らは悪いと思って成長します。それはひどいです。それはあなたが聞いたことがあるかもしれない言葉-「色彩主義」または「陰影主義」にも関連しています。あなたが暗いということは、あなたが悪いということです。あなたが暗いほど、あなたは醜いです。あなたが暗いほど、あなたは悪いです。あなたがより公平であるほど、あなたがより白く、あなたがより完璧であるほど、あなたは人生でより良いチャンスを得るでしょう。多くの場合、黒人でさえ、肌の色がよりきれいであれば、人生でより良いチャンスがあると考えています。意味がわかりますか?これらは、私たち全員が教えられて育った、深く根付いた条件です。私の両親が私たちにこれを言っているのではなく、まさに社会、すべてのニュースが私たちに、テレビ、新聞で、それが私たちに何度も言われていることを伝えています。子供の頃に映画を見て、私たちは黒人が特定の方法で特徴付けられているのを見たことがありますが、ディズニー映画では、メイドの足首と靴下が落ちているのが見えるでしょう。あなたはヒーローやヒロインを黒人として見ることは決してないでしょう。黒人の俳優は常に使用人、信者、愚かな人々、サンボでした。私の子供時代には、黒人が愚か者、馬鹿、奴隷、使用人であるというイメージが散らばっていました。決して英雄。

私がテレビを手に入れたのは私が10歳くらいの時だけでした。カウボーイやインディアンの映画が散らばっていました。そして、カウボーイは常に善人として描かれ、インディアンは悪人として描かれていたので、私たちでさえカウボーイを応援していました。私は今それを見て、イギリスのすべての黒人の子供たちが戦いに勝ったカウボーイを応援していたと思うのは悲しいことです。それがどれほど歪んでいるかわかりますか?私たちは大画面の視覚的投影に圧倒的に影響を受けました。大画面の視覚的画像は非常に強力であり、ここではカウボーイをサポートしていました。私たちが田舎に住んでいたとき、私たちが野原や森でカウボーイやインディアンを演じていたとき、私たちは皆、カウボーイの側で戦いたいと思っていました。それでも私たちは混合民族の子供たちでした。私たちはその地域で白人だったすべての友達と遊んでいました、それでも私たちはカウボーイズの一員になりたかったのです。あなたは私が何を意味するかを理解します、それは本当に面白いです。悲しい。

But now I realize how warped our education was, how we were all being pre-programmed into thinking and learning what was good and what was bad. And it was all pre-decided by skin tone. To think now that I’m an adult and I see how people’s life experiences are it seems absolutely insane that people of color have such terrible and disproportionately negative experiences for something as arbitrary as skin color. We always grew up knowing that we had to be better. We couldn’t just be good enough. We had to be outstandingly good at everything we did in order to get anywhere.

How would you feel if you were attacked or excluded for the sole reason of the color of your skin? For this very reason, for hundreds of generations, people have been abused, excluded, maltreated, criminalized, objectified, diminished, reduced, battered and beaten down — for something as arbitrary as skin color.

I’ve had some extraordinary conversations with people who’ve said “I had a wonderful meeting with so and so and they were black!” — as though they couldn’t believe that a black person could be someone that they could have a conversation with on the same level as them. It’s just extraordinary.

A Serendipitous Meeting

When the penny finally dropped for me 35 years into my career, I knew what I had to do.

Ed Vaizey, politician and previous culture minister had called me to his office in Westminster and asked me why he only ever saw me on the international concert platform. What he meant was: why were there no other black people on the concert platform on an international stage playing classical music?

Several months later, here is what happened. I was invited to hear the Kinshasa Orchestra, from the Congo (aka the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste (OSK)). They were having their 20th Anniversary Concert and it was being presented at the Royal Festival Hall. I had no idea that such an orchestra in Africa even existed. As I was walking to the Royal Festival Hall from Waterloo Station, I bumped into Ed Vaizey who said ‘Oh Chi-chi, you are going to the same concert as I am!,’ and I said ‘Yes, I probably am.’ And he said ‘Come with me to the pre-concert reception,’ and I said ‘But, I haven’t been invited,’ ‘Well you’re with me,’ he said ‘So you’re coming.’

When we arrived at this grand reception at the top of the Royal Festival Hall for the Kinshasa Orchestra concert, we were greeted by the director of music at the Southbank, Gillian Moore, who was someone that I had known most of my career. While we were saying hello, she clapped her hands over her face as if in horror. I immediately thought ‘Oh my god, I’m not supposed to be here because I wasn’t invited.’ All three of us started to talk at the same time, over each other. I was saying ‘Look, I know I wasn’t invited..,’ and Ed Vaizey was saying ‘Well she’s my guest and so she’s with me.’ And Gillian Moore was saying ‘Oh my god Chi-chi, I’m so sorry, you should have been on the guest list.’ And then she said ‘Look over there.’ She pointed to the far corner of the reception where another friend of mine, a well-known English violin soloist, Tasmin Little, was giving an interview into an enormous BBC television camera. And I said ‘Oh, it’s Tasmin, she seems to be giving an interview to the BBC.’ And Gillian Moore said ‘Yes, but what does she know about Africa?’

That was the moment. Here we were at the pre-concert reception for the Kinshasa Orchestra, celebrating their 20th anniversary — and now I know that the BBC and Arts Council England were making a documentary especially about the Kinshasa Orchestra coming to England and their preparation for their 20th anniversary concert. They were interviewing various people, including Tasmin Little, and when Gillian said ‘But what does Tasmin know about Africa?,’ she also said ‘Chi-chi, you should be doing the interview’. At that point, I looked around the room and saw that there wasn’t a single person of color; I went into a sort of a bubble. It was my lightbulb moment thinking to myself ‘Gillian, you haven’t invited me to the reception, and now that I’m here, you’re saying that I should be doing that interview.’ I didn’t actually say that but I did say very calmly ‘Gillian, we are used to this. You’ve been telling our stories for centuries. I’m here to listen to the Kinshasa Orchestra concert. Let’s talk about this later.’ I could sense the culture minister standing next to me punching the air, because I could sense him thinking ‘Yes, Chi-chi’s got it. This is going to be the moment Chi-chi’s going to do something about it.’ And he was absolutely right.

It was almost laughable because there I was, the elephant in the room; I hadn’t even been invited, and I popped the bubble. Certainly it was a moment to remember.

As I walked back to the train station after that concert I looked to my left, I looked to my right and thought ‘No, it’s me that has got to do something about this.’ I had seen it for myself. The penny had finally dropped.

I spent some time also looking at the audience during that concert. Some were with their mouths gaping wide open at so many people of color playing this music.This is the 21st century. It should not be a novelty that there is more than one black face on the stage playing Beethoven or Berlioz, which is what the Kinshasa Orchestra performed that night, as well as playing a couple of their own traditional pieces which were beautiful.

It was all serendipitous. It was not chance — Ed Vaizey and I were meant to bump into each other walking into that concert.

So that was a Sunday evening.

Monday morning I was on the phone — until the phone virtually melted to my face — to every music establishment I could think of. I began with the Southbank Centre because I had just been there the night before. I called the Barbican and all the principals of the conservatoires around the country, I called the British Council, I called the government, I called the Arts Council and said ‘This is what I’m going to do..’

And you know something, I could sense this incredible sigh of relief because it sounded as if they all agreed that something needed to be done and they were relieved that I was going to do something about it, because they knew me, and they all basically said ‘Come in for a meeting, let’s talk about it.’

So my first meeting was interestingly back at the Southbank Centre the following day with Gillian Moore, and with tears in her eyes she said ‘ Chi-chi, we’ve waited years for someone like you to come forward with an idea like this, because it needs to be lead by one of your own.’

Later that afternoon she sent me several texts letting me know she had been in touch with Jude Kelly who was artistic director of the Southbank Centre at the time. The day after that I had a face to face meeting with Jude Kelly who said ‘Chi-chi, I know your work. We are going to launch you and your new orchestra here, at the Southbank. We will put you on that stage and you won’t have to pay; we will market the concert and we will give you all the box office takings. This was September 2014, and she said I’m giving you until September 2015 when you will give your first concert.

And thats how it started.

To have such confidence from people like Jude Kelly, Gillian Moore, and Ed Vaizey, who believed in me, knew my work, and they trusted that I could do it was exactly the encouragement I needed. I could count on the fingers of one hand how many black musicians I’d worked with in England, and three of them were opera singers; Willard White, Roddie Williams, and Patricia Rozario. And there’s no way I could create an orchestra with three singers, two viola players, and me. So I literally had to go underground to find players. I was met with several naysayers, people who knew me saying ‘Oh Chi-chi you’re never going to be able to do this. It’s not really your sort of music, is it? Classical music.’ And I thought, Goodness, is that what they really think when they look at me? Do they think I’m an imposter? They’ve looked at me for 35 years, and now they’re telling me it’s not really my sort of music! This is exactly what I mean when I say how much more black have to do to prove themselves.

At the time I won my first principal double bass job in a London orchestra in 1984, I think it was still considered pretty unusual as a female bassist. I’ve been a principal double bassist ever since. Even after having had a good career, to hear again that people thought I didn’t really belong! I always knew I had to keep my standards up, which I constantly strove to do, following the lesson that my father taught me. So by making enquiries to friends and colleagues, I was now hearing comments from people saying I wouldn’t be able to find musicians because black people weren’t interested in classical music. They like Reggae, Hip hop and Jazz, Funk and Highlife, Afrobeat — classical music is not really your sort of music. And anyway those who do play classical music, they’re not really very good at it, are they? And I’m thinking, well how do you know all this? And so I thought, well you know what, you might say this, and just because you only know me, it doesn’t mean that other people don’t exist.

I wrote to soloist friends of mine, like Nicola Benedetti, people who play with other orchestras, if they played with orchestras that I don’t play with and they noticed a black face there, someone who looked like me, could they try and find out who they were and put me in touch with them.

I contacted all the conservatoire principals to ask them about their alumni, if there had been black students throughout the history of the college, whether they could put me in contact with them. I started researching those players that they were telling me about from their alumni, and it was fantastic! It got to the point where I was able to say to people who were all the doubters, all the naysayers ‘Well I think you might be in for a surprise, because the more I look, the more I find that the well of talent runs deep.’ What I discovered was that these people were just being neglected and overlooked. Then I said to myself we’re not just starting a professional orchestra, I’m going to create a junior orchestra at the same time, which I did. The two orchestras gave their debut concert on the same day at the Southbank Centre. The juniors played a few hours earlier than the professionals. It was amazing!

And you know what? Three weeks before that first concert (which was on September the 13th, 2015) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, we discovered that the concert had SOLD OUT! This is like the equivalent of the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. There’s a big hall and a small hall. And the Alice Tully is the smaller one, so we were in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the smaller one. (The Royal Festival Hall is the larger of the two). ‘Who has bought all these tickets for an orchestra that has never existed before?’ It was an extraordinary thought, and very exciting. I knew that my siblings were coming, my children were coming, my nephews and nieces, all of my book club and their partners, and all the press tickets were gone. But all of that was only about 40 or 50 tickets. So who had bought the rest of the hundreds and hundreds of tickets?

When we walked out onto that stage all together with the conductor at the very beginning, we we were met with a standing ovation.

The Queen Elizabeth Hall is the hall I’ve played in more than any other hall in London and the world — I’ve played there literally hundreds of times. For the first time in my 35 year career, I stood and faced an audience that looked like London.

And I don’t just mean because of all the different ethnicities, I mean ages too; there were people from the age of four to ninety-four; four generations of a family, literally whole families in the audience. Heads of the BBC and other big organizations were there, the Arts Council, sitting alongside people of color who’d never been to a classical concert before, because before, unfortunately, they had never felt welcomed into those buildings. They had been conditioned to think it was not a place for them to go, because they would probably not understand what was going on inside those buildings or that they were not intelligent to know about classical music and that therefore they wouldn’t understand it. How ridiculous. You could sense a sort of global sigh of relief coming from the entire audience. It was a memorable debut, everybody stayed till the last moment, and we had an encore.

They listened to music by black composers as well as Brahms and Beethoven. I loved the fact that there were people in the audience who lived a mere 15–20 minutes walk from the Southbank Centre, people of color who lived so close to Southbank Centre for so many years, yet had never set foot in the building, let alone buy a ticket to go into a concert hall. And suddenly, the sheer presence of Chineke! had cracked that door open for them. Music does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter what music you listen to, you can listen to any kind of music. It’s up to you. I don’t enjoy every piece of classical music. Just because I’m a classical musician doesn’t mean I love it all. I love other genres of music as well. I’m not trained in them, but I can enjoy them. And so, we had opened the door for all those people who previously had felt shut out from those particular buildings, concert halls and institutions. What’s beautiful is that some of those people who came to our first concert now return to the Southbank to hear a concert, whether we are playing or not. And for me, that is evidence of the Chineke! impact.

The Experience: Our First Rehearsal

I had found all these musicians. No two players knew each other apart from the Kanneh-Masons, Sheku and his older sister Isata and brother Braimah. Both Braimah and Sheku also played with the Chineke! Junior Orchestra.

When we arrived, the very first day of the first rehearsal, it was such a poignant moment. Sixty-two musicians walked into that room to start rehearsing. All these people just looking at each other, from different backgrounds, all trained as classical musicians, seeing people who looked a bit like them, opening a viola case, opening a flute case, taking the lid off a timpani, unpacking a double bass — people who had maybe walked in the same shoes you had walked in, people just embracing each other, introducing themselves to each other, because we didn’t know each other.

I had made hundreds of phone calls to find all these players. I had a couple of meetings with a few of them but we had never worked together as a group. So when the sixty-two of us walked into that room for the first rehearsal, we were all overcoming that incredible feeling of ‘Wow, I’m not the odd one out.’ It was an amazing feeling that went throughout the whole orchestra. After we had all introduced ourselves to each other and gotten over that incredibly powerful feeling, it was the first time for any of us, that when we finally sat down to play, all we had to think about was the music, nothing else.

At the concert there were people in the audience with tears running down their faces. I remember about three or four months after that first concert, I bumped into my favorite news reader, Jon Snow, (who has just recently retired); he worked for Channel 4 News on UK TV. He said, ‘Chi-chi, I was in the audience at your first Chineke! concert and I was one of those people standing on my feet crying as you came onto the stage.’ That was pretty powerful.

I did not know if our first concert would be our last concert. I did not know how we would be perceived by the public.

2015年に1回のコンサートがありました。人生で資金を調達したことは一度もありませんでした。2015年の1回のコンサートから今年は少なくとも40回のコンサート(封鎖を含む)がありました。これらには、BBCプロムスとエジンバラフェスティバルでの2つのコンサートが含まれていました。6年以内に何が起こったのかについて考えるのはただの異常なことです。

結局、色のある人が力を与えられていると感じ、自分が所属していると感じて少しステップアップしたり、正当なものを要求したりするのに役立つ場合、そして白人が積極的にもっと包括的になることができるとコミットして信じるのに役立つ場合は、それはすべてしばらくの間価値がありました。

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