The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 30 July 2019
Cultural Affairs - Nicky Morgan has been appointed culture secretary by new prime minister, Boris Johnson. She replaces Jeremy Wright in the role, which he had held since July 2018. Morgan, who is MP for Loughborough, said her appointment to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was “an enormous privilege” and described it as a “fabulous role”.
She said: “DCMS’s dynamic and much-loved sectors are at the heart of what makes the UK a great place to live, work and do business. They are our global calling card, encouraging investment, driving innovation and making the UK a country people around the world want to visit. I will be working hard to make sure the future for our world-leading sectors is a bright one.”
Morgan campaigned to remain in the European Union before the 2016 referendum and is a staunch opponent of leaving the EU without a deal, claiming that a no-deal scenario would “severely impact on the economy, employers and the finances of households”. Her appointment comes just a day after a creative industries membership body wrote an open letter to Johnson, warning of the danger to the sector posed by a no-deal Brexit.
A former education secretary, Morgan came under fire from the arts sector in 2015 when she claimed that young people choosing to study creative subjects at school could “hold them back for the rest of their lives”, and argued that the subjects that “keep people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects”.
Space Oddity - Christopher C Kraft, the man who founded NASA's mission control and oversaw the Apollo 11 moon landing, was honoured at the BBC Proms. Public Service Broadcasting dedicated their song Go to the engineer, who died on Monday, two days after the 50th anniversary of the landing.
The art-rock track samples radio communications between the landing module and ground control from 1969. The song was taken from their top 20 concept album The Race For Space. Released in 2015, it focused on the technological and ideological battle between the US and Russia as they pushed the frontiers of space exploration, using newsreel footage and Nasa's own recordings to augment the music.
Public Service Broadcasting, whose other albums have documented The Blitz and the decline of coal mines in Wales, were making their Proms debut. The specially-arranged performance of their album was enhanced by the Multi-Storey Orchestra and the London Contemporary Voices Choir. There was even a dancing horn section, accompanied by two dancers in full spacesuits.
Dramatic Moves - London drama schools RADA and LAMDA will leave the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama next week after more than 15 years as part of the institution. The two schools say they have left the CDD to pursue opportunities that were not available to them when they joined the group, and to maintain independence.
The CDD currently represents eight performing arts providers - RADA, LAMDA, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Central School of Ballet, London Contemporary Dance School, National Centre for Circus Arts, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. It was set up in 2001, with RADA as a founding school. LAMDA joined three years later in 2004.
At present, the eight schools are considered as one higher education institution, but from 1 August, RADA and LAMDA will become independent higher education institutions, with the six remaining members of the CDD continuing as part of the collegiate partnership. Under the new structure, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School will be the only remaining drama provider in the CDD - the five others are focused on dance or circus.
(Jim Evans)
30 July 2019

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