Six ways to open your mind at WOMAD 2014

Open your mind and your ears at this year's WOMAD Festival

Six ways to open your mind at WOMAD 2014

Ali Ryland on 23 July 2014

Cure a kora, catch a kora

If you've never heard of a kora before, it might be the time to find out, as Aliou Gassama will be making one from scratch out of the large fruit kalabash, or bottle gourd, from start to finish over the three days at WOMAD. Aliou will also be massaging minds as he educates all about the West African musical traditions the lute-bridge-harp channels, involves and lives within, while musical duo Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita are the perfect afterward; Keita will be showing off the kora in action, while Finch provides a lilting accompaniment on classical harp.

Experience Ray Lee's space-age 'Chorus'

Lee's towering, kinetic sculptures sing out a celestial choir; but this choral endeavour is not furnished by flesh-ridden chorus boys, but perfectly pitched spinning loudspeakers, placed at the end of alien, rotating arms. Head over to Molly's Bar to see and hear the siren call in action, as orbits of colour oscillate in order to overpower the audience's senses through the other-worldly. A “hypnotic, harmonious whole that is both uplifting and transfixing” - you'll have to see for yourself.

Taste The World with Fat Freddy's Drop and 9bach

Fat Freddy's Drop, 9bach, Monsieur Doumani and more will be dropping in at the Taste The World stage to cook a dish for all to share freely, while swapping stories and answering questions about said food, opening up a debate about the wider world. As WOMAD say: “Each ingredient, each method of cooking, has a story” and those who have never deeply considered the interaction of colonialism, gender politics and ethnicity may be in for a welcome surprise.

Discover new stage The Society Of Sound and heckle Beardyman

A bespoke soundsystem, created by hi-fi wizards Bowers & Wilkins of Abbey Road studio fame, is the stage's masterpiece; David Holmes, Justin Adams, 9bach and Beardyman are some of the few who will hold its reins, taking audiences on what WOMAD promise to be an aural adventure. The bearded latter will go so far as to make a brand new album live at the stage Saturday night, based upon crowd suggestions; not one to miss.

Get back to nature with 'The Great Animal Orchestra'

Bernie Krause is the world's leading expert in natural sound and, after 40 years recording the sound of landscapes, you'd expect him to be. Experience 'biophony' – a word Krause himself coined – at WOMAD with the man himself, who'll be playing the sounds of nature to address the theme of ecology, the environment, and the threat to the vast plethora of life and sound around the world.

Get All Singing and All Dancing

At the All Singing All Dancing Stage this year, prospective performers can learn to sing traditional Zimbabwean songs with Bruno Ashley, learn Batchata – a beautiful Dominican Republic dance - with reggaeton's Leandro and Jose Ferrera, and Kobo Town will introduce everyone to the historical folklore of calypso through a tented romp riot.

WOMAD 2014 takes places at Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire from 24-27 July. Tickets for WOMAD 2014 are still available, priced as follows:

Weekend Ticket - £160

WOMAD Thursday Ticket £30
Must be purchased alongside a WOMAD Weekend Ticket to access campsite and festival arena.

Disabled Weekend Ticket - £160

SN16 Resident Weekend - £115
Discounted ticket only available to residents of the SN16 postcode area.

Songlines Subscription & Weekend Ticket Offer - £184.75

Teenage Weekend Ticket - £80 For 14-17 years. Must be registered and be accompanied by a ticket holding adult. Online WOMAD Teenager Registration Form.

Child (13 and under) Weekend Ticket - Free! Accompanied by an adult over 21.

Click here to buy WOMAD 2014 tickets.


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