Held annually in March, through concerts, exhibitions and talks, CONVERGENCE is held over four days of intensely engaging gigs and compelling conversations across East London at venues including Village Underground, House of Vans and Rich Mix. Now in its fourth year, Convergence celebrates cross art form innovators and takes an in depth look at the latest technology and trends that will give rise to the exciting new work of tomorrow.

In 2018 the British Council continued their partnership with Convergence and supported a series of talks which will brought together industry experts from the world of music and beyond. The international delegation of promoters, festival organisers and producers from outside the UK included: Brian Ritchie (Australia), Dmitry Agalakov (Russia), Kukuh Rizal (Indonesia), Hakeem Adam (Nigeria), Chi Po-Hao (Taiwan), Hasaan Meer (Oman), Nikita Rasskazov (Russia), Cristian Reynaga (Argentina), Javier Areal Veléz (Argentina), Riham Noor Mohamed Al-Zadjali (Oman) and Colleen Balchin (South Africa).

We were thrilled to be able to support Brian Ritchie’s participation at this year’s event. 

Brian Ritchie is a multi-faceted musician and arts curator. His musical career extends across the fields of rock, classical, folk, blues, Japanese traditional music and musique concrete and beyond. He first came to international prominence as bassist/multi-instrumentalist with post-punk trio Violent Femmes. He has also performed and recorded with artists such as Rodriguez, Lou Reed, Australian Chamber Orchestra, electronic music pioneer Pierre Henry and many more. He is a licensed teacher and performer of the shakuhachi, Japanese Zen flute.

Brian moved to Tasmania in 2007 and became the Music Curator at Mona (Museum of Old and New Art). In this capacity he organizes MONA FOMA (Museum of Old and New Art Festival of Music and Art) combining music, sound art, visual art, dance, spoken word and theatre, and the Synesthesia festival which is a classical and experimental music festival of sound and light. MONA FOMA has twice won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Music Festival and the 2016 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award. Brian’s programming is based on ideas, individuality and collaboration rather than a style driven approach. Award winning curated events such as The Barbarians by IHOS Music Theatre and Opera and 48 Fugues for Frank by pianist Michael Kieran Harvey stand alongside touring international artists such as Philip Glass, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Neil Gaiman, to name only a few of the thousands of performers and artists to grace MOFO spaces.

Convergence Festival took place in London on 21 – 23 March 2018.