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Echo City has been running workshops on its unique instruments since 1983, when it built its first installation at Weaver's Fields Adventure Playground in Bethnal Green in East London.
While many ideas have been developed and explored in this time, the ethos of the Echo City workshop has remained constant, namely that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy making music. Echo City's approach offers access to music making for people with disabilities, and the project has forged long standing links with a number of learning disabled artists and performers as a result of mutual collaboration on the Sonic Playground
Echo City instruments are original, unique and exciting and the player is encouraged to find the music that is within them. She is not presented with a piano or violin that has a tradition or history that can be very inhibiting for some people [especially those who misguidedly feel themselves to be 'non-musicians']. Neither are they offered toys or unfulfilling instruments from which to try and eke out a musical moment. Instead the player is encouraged to discover for themselves the way in which they can make music on the accessible and responsive sound sources that combine to create the Sonic Playground.
Echo City's musicians come from a diversity of traditions - jazz, classical, contemporary, rock, experimental and free music are some of the areas in which both the individuals and the band have located their playing. What unites their approach is a belief in improvisation, both as a mode of performance and of composition, so Echo City workshops create a opportunity for the group to invent and create spontaneously. Through its own performance profile, Echo City has also developed strong links with other the other performing arts and encourages their incorporation into music making activity.
Workshops range in structure, from 60/90 minutes introductory sessions to week long performance oriented programmes..