Tinderbox play for the Dalai Lama!

Back in June the Tinderbox Frontiers project held the premier of their cross-arts work Red & Black for none other than His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Usher Hall. The work featured in the closing event of the Edinburgh Lectures’ 20th anniversary series, coinciding with his Holiness’s UK tour.

“Over 20 years, the series has opened minds and horizons to many aspects of life and society, allowing a dialogue with speakers from all walks of life and corners of the globe,” says Rt Hon Donald Wilson, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh. The Frontiers project, invited by the Edinburgh Interfaith Association holds the same aims and values if on a slightly smaller scale, for now, and with a focus on Edinburgh’s youth speaking out.

The basic frame of Red & Black was composed by the Tinderbox Orchestra with vocals and lyrics then being added by G-Code, one of the Tinderbox Frontiers youth groups from Muirhouse. Another of the Frontiers groups Sikh Sanjog created a pixilation film of the Great Kite Battle, which gave the composition its final shape. The three contrasting groups of young people worked collaboratively to produce the final outcome, creating a dialogue between themselves and the 2000 people listening which otherwise might not have occurred.

For some of the G-Code members it was their first time performing publicly let alone to such a large audience yet they seemed more excited than nervous backstage. The Tinderbox Orchestra shared the excitement too as Anne-Marie, a flautist in the ensemble tells us “it was amazing having the opportunity to play something we had written to such a huge audience whilst also being part of such a special event.”

A lucky few, sneeking out to flyer the audience for their headline performance at the Queen’s Hall the next day, got a very special thank you from his holiness himself as “he waved at us through the window!”

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