Noted Composer Dominique Le Gendre Joins the George Padmore Institute as new Artist in Residence

April 22, 2024

The George Padmore Institute (GPI) is excited to announce the appointment of acclaimed composer and musician Dominique Le Gendre as its newest Artist in Residence. With an expansive career that encompasses performance, composition, musical direction, teaching, curation and event production, Le Gendre is poised to contribute her diverse talents to the Institute. Le Gendre's journey into music is marked by a rich tapestry of influences, from her early days in Trinidad to her classical training in Europe. Her work has been celebrated worldwide, with compositions performed at prestigious venues and festivals. This residency is anticipated to be a significant highlight for the GPI, offering audiences a unique insight into Le Gendre's work.

Dominique Le Gendre said: 'What I hope to achieve from the residency at the GPI is to collect and collate enough material to contribute to my song cycle Crossing Seas. The song cycle translates the experiences, joys and trials of individuals from the Caribbean and further afield across generations as they made the journey across seas seeking a better life.'

Le Gendre will explore the rich and personal histories embedded within the GPI’s archives to inform this new project. Her engagement with the materials has already inspired her further, leading her to envision a larger, more complex artistic output. She seeks to develop a form that effectively juxtaposes the intimacy of personal letter writing with the broader historical impacts these communications had amidst major transformations in both the Caribbean and the UK.

Roxy Harris, GPI Chair, commented: 'I’m delighted that the George Padmore Institute is able to announce another exciting residency initiative inspired by the contents of our archives. The activist organisations which led directly to the founding of the GPI in 1991 consistently integrated cultural practice and cultural creativity within all their initiatives. One significant example can be found in the programmes of the International Book fair of Radical Black and Third World Books where music, poetry, prose, film and theatre featured prominently.'

Jay Bernard, former poet in residence at the GPI, stated: 'My residency at the George Padmore Institute opened an unexpected path for me. Without it, I might never have developed the engagement with history which has animated my practice in ways I did not imagine. It was an intervention in my creative life for which I am extremely grateful. Best of all, the archive is endless. The GPI is an incredible resource that, in light of continual violence and oppression at home and abroad, remains ever relevant and useful in helping us think through, and write about, our present moment.'

The George Padmore Institute, committed to preserving the legacies of Britain's Black communities, actively fosters creativity and innovation in the arts through its Artist in Residence programme. This initiative invites distinguished creatives worldwide to engage with our archive in the production of something new, enriching the institute's vibrant cultural activities with innovative perspectives. The Artist in Residence programme will happen each year from 2024 for three iterations, via our National Portfolio Organisation funding from Arts Council England.

Dominique Le Gendre, credit: Maria Nunes


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