West Yorkshire arts organisation Manasamitra has secured significant funding from a national body to support its Music in Teahouses project, a reimagining of the traditional tea ceremony through music and conversation.
The PRS Foundation has allocated £10,000 to the South Asian artist-led company through its Open Fund for Organisations. The funding will enable Dewsbury-based Manasamitra to perform Music in Teahouses at several venues around the country, including an introductory event at Bradford Literature Festival in June and a glittering London launch in November.
Music in Teahouses looks at the daily rituals of brewing and drinking tea through a soundscape of music and conversation. It explores the tea route from East to West, the intricacies of tea as a social drink, and the ritual of preparing tea, including the related sounds, smells and tastes.
Community groups can share their own stories, memories and experiences of tea, then create art work as part of the discussion. Sessions are led by composer and noted Carnatic vocalist Supriya Nagarajan, the founder and artistic director of Manasamitra.
Other on-going works by Manasamitra include the Bollywood Jazz project, which officially launched in 2017, and more recently Lullaby Sonic Cradle, a contemporary musical exploration of night time sounds interspersed with lullabies from India and audio recording gathered from members of local communities across the UK and Europe.
Manasamitra has previously received grants from Arts Council England to deliver projects to venues and communities across the country.
The PRS is the UK’s leading funder of new music, with more than 6,700 projects receiving grants totalling £32m since the organisation was formed in March 2000. Its Open Fund for Organisation supports projects that involve the creation, performance and promotion of new music, to enable composers, bands and performers from all backgrounds to develop.
Supriya said: “I feel privileged that Manasamitra has received this funding and am pleased that it will enable us to reach out to more communities through our Music in Teahouses project.”