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Special Events

Mainstreaming Psychedelics

Mon 3 Nov 2014, 18:30

The Psychedelic Society presents

Mainstreaming Psychedelics

Psychedelic drugs have fascinated and delighted humans for thousands of years. Studies indicate that they can leave people calmer, happier, kinder and more open-minded, and they are being investigated as a treatment for a range of psychiatric illnesses. Although the authorities continue to attempt to prevent their use, there are signs that the time may be right to push for their legalisation. At this event, we will investigate the benefits of psychedelics, the arguments for legalisation and ask: how can we mainstream psychedelics? What are our strongest arguments, and the current political opportunities? Can we learn from other liberation movements? What's our vision of a 'psychedelic society'?

Short thoughtpieces from:

Prof David Nutt (Prof of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and Chair of DrugScience) on the latest science of psychedelics.

David Babbs(Executive Director of 38 Degrees) on lessons learned from other liberation campaigns.

Arielle Nylander (Welfare Enough festival support) on the conditions for a thriving psychedelic society.

Followed by audience Q&A

Doors 6.15pm for 6.30pm

Tickets £5

We don't want to exclude anyone on the basis of cost. If you'd like to attend but have difficulty paying, please contact enquiries@psychedelicsociety.org.uk


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Talks & Lectures

Stop the First World War

Tue 4 Nov 2014, 19.00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

1914 and the Schism in International Anarchism

Pietro Dipaola

The outbreak of the First World War caused an irreparable schism in the international anarchist community. Many of the protagonists in this harsh dispute lived in exile in London, including the chief adversarie: the Russian, (Prince) Petr Kropotkin, who supported the Entente, and the Italian Errico Malatesta who argued that the ‘only acceptable war was the fight of the oppressed against the oppressors’. 

Pietro Dipaola’s talk reconstructs this debate and focuses on some of the activities and the repression of the anarchists including the interment in Alexandra Palace of the German anarchist Rudolf Rocker and the imprisonment of his companion Milly Witcop.

Not our war

Tony Zurbrugg,  publisher at the Merlin Press and editor of the recent book “Not Our War” examines  the opposition to the rising militarism before the start of the First World War and will go on to look again at the different responses of socialists and anarchists to the actual outbreak of war specifically over the years 1914-16.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)


Image of 5x15 presents Atul Gawande and Will Self

Talks & Lectures

5x15 presents Atul Gawande and Will Self

Tue 4 Nov 2014, 19:00

5x15 presents

Being Mortal: Atul Gawande and Will Self in conversation

To mark the publication of Atul Gawande’s new book Being Mortal from the Wellcome Collection, join 5x15 for a discussion on the inescapable realities of aging and death. Surgeon and author Gawande is this year’s Reith Lecturer and the best selling author of  The Checklist Manifesto, Better and Complications. He will be in conversation with the brilliantly inventive journalist and author Will Self.

Gawande examines his experiences as a surgeon, as he confronts the realities of aging and dying in his patients and in his family, as well as the limits of what he can do. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows that the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life – all the way to the very end.

Tickets: £15/ £12


Image of MusicUpClose - In Memoriam - bells and sounds of War

Courses & Workshops

MusicUpClose - In Memoriam - bells and sounds of War

Wed 5 Nov 2014, 19:00

MusicUpClose V: Music under Fire – Music in London and Paris during World War One

Curated by Professor Barbara L. Kelly, with sound collective and musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire/Royal College of Music

Session Five: In Memoriam - bells and sounds of War
Wednesday 5 November, 19.00
Presenter: Barbara Kelly
Works to be performed: Poulenc Sonata for Two Clarinets, Stravinsky Three Pieces for Clarinet etc.

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This week is devoted to the remembrance of war.  We will look at the significance of bells in music because of their association with loss and destruction during war.  Moving from Elgar’s Carillon, we will consider other musical evocations by French composers, Poulenc and Durey.  We will also look at how composers commemorated their lost friends and confirmed their national allegiance, focusing on Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin.  Wind sonorities were highly fashionable in this period.  This is surprising given that wind players were almost always men and many were away fighting.  Join Barbara Kelly, clarinettist James Mainwaring and performers from Trinity Laban Conservatoire to hear live performances of playful yet haunting clarinet works by Stravinsky and Poulenc.

Tickets for each session are priced at £10 adv. online (£12 on the door). There's a special discount for teachers and their students (14+ years old) at £35 per group for one single session.

Advance for all six sessions is £50 in advance. (which can be bought here)


Image of Pro Corda - Gala Concert

Special Events

Pro Corda - Gala Concert

Sat 8 Nov 2014, 19:30

Pro Corda International Ensemble Training presents

Gala Concert

Pro Corda’s acclaimed series of chamber music courses have offered the highest standards in chamber music coaching for 45 years. Come and join us on November 8th for a stunning evening gala concert which will be given by students aged 7 to 18 who will perform wonderful chamber music with their own youthful and inspirational talent.

Pro Corda Trust is a music and educational charity established in 1969 founded by Pamela Spofforth MBE and Elizabeth Hewlins MBE and its purpose is ‘to provide for and conduct the education of young persons and others in the whole art, philosophy and theory of music, particularly chamber music’.

Pro Corda is the largest music organisation of its kind and is recognized as the UK’s centre of excellence for ensemble training.Pro Corda is the only youth music organisation in the UK providing a continuous and progressive programme of education through the medium of chamber music and ensemble training from age 5 to 24.  Based at Leiston Abbey, Pro Corda offers national provision and opportunities across the country.  All Pro Corda courses employ leading international artists and musicians at the forefront of their fields.

In addition to “core” courses for talented young musicians, accessible only through audition, Pro Corda has pioneered an innovative life-changing course for children with Special Educational Needs, using the power of ensemble training to benefit personal and social progression. This programme serves SEN schools and units across the country.

Pro Corda’s work employs a holistic approach and is based on the core principles of ensemble training the person and his/her social interaction as well as the musician. Our central mission is to unleash the wider  social benefits of chamber music in terms of participation, access and learning.

Tickets: £12, £8 Concessions/Child

Starts and Ends: 7.30pm – 10.30pm


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Sunday Concerts

Badke Quartet

Sun 9 Nov 2014, 18.30

Photo by Ollie Ford

Charlotte Scott violin
Emma Parker violin
Jon Thorne viola
Jonathan Byers cello
with Simon Callaghan piano

Pre-concert talk at 17.30:
Rachel Moore.  Harmony on the Home-Fronts: Wartime Chamber Music in Paris and London

Haydn Quartet in F Op.77/2
Ravel String Quartet
Elgar Piano Quintet in A minor Op.84

The Badke Quartet, celebrating its 11th anniversary this year, is widely recognised as one of Britain’s finest string quartets. Winners of the 1st prize and audience prize at the 5th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2007, the Badke Quartet has received widespread acclaim for its energetic and vibrant performances.

The Quartet has worked with some of the world’s greatest members of the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne. From 2005 to 2009 the Quartet held the Senior Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music.

£9 tickets, £4 for full-time students (free
entry for under-16s)

Doors open at 17.00. Pre-concert talk at 17.30. Main Concert Start 18.30


Image of MusicUpClose - Music Under Fire in Paris and London

Courses & Workshops

MusicUpClose - Music Under Fire in Paris and London

Tue 11 Nov 2014, 19:00

MusicUpClose V: Music under Fire – Music in London and Paris during World War One

Curated by Professor Barbara L. Kelly, with sound collective and musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire/Royal College of Music

Session Six: Music Under Fire in Paris and London
Tuesday 11 November, 19.00
Presenter: Barbara Kelly
Featuring: Badke Quartet, Sadie Fields violin, Daniel Broncano clarinet, Olivia Ray mezzo soprano, Tom Hammond conductor
Works to be performed: Ravel Mallarmé Songs, Elgar Piano Quintet, Stravinsky A Soldier’s Tale (trio version), Ethel Smyth Songs.

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Music Under Fire in Paris and London is the grand finale of this First World War season.  We are delighted to welcome the Badke Quartet and musicians from sound collective, including Simon Callaghan, violinist Sadie Smith and clarinettist, James Mainwaring.  This exciting programme includes works performed during the Great War, others written as a creative response to it and one work about war, exile and loss.   The programme includes Ravel’s Mallarmé’s songs for voice and ensemble, which was first performed by the singer Jane Bathori and premiered in London in 1915.  We will also hear Elgar’s passionate Piano Quintet, composed just before the famous Cello Concerto in 1918. The programme includes César Franck’s Violin Sonata, not because it was written during the war, but because Franck featured regularly on allied WWI programmes because he was Belgian; he was one of the most popular composers played at the Ethical Society concerts during this period.  Another treat is Stravinsky’s energetic Soldier’s Tale, in the arrangement for violin, clarinet and piano.  Stravinsky composed the work in 1917 for ensemble and narrator and it tells the story of a soldier returning from war to find that no one recognises him.  Influenced by popular styles and dances from the period, including the ragtime and tango, this flexible work reflects the composer’s own permanent exile from his native Russia as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Tickets for each session are priced at £10 adv. online (£12 on the door). There's a special discount for teachers and their students (14+ years old) at £35 per group for one single session.

Advance for all six sessions is £50 in advance. (which can be bought here)


Image of Stop the First World War

Talks & Lectures

Stop the First World War

Tue 11 Nov 2014, 19:00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

From Slaughter to Mutiny

Ian Birchall

As the war continued more and more workers in uniform began to revolt against the authorities sending them to needless deaths. In 1917 half a million French soldiers were involved in mutinies. In 1918 mutinies by German soldiers and sailors helped to bring the war to an end. And in 1919 a French naval mutiny in the Black Sea obstructed intervention against the Russian Revolution.

Ian Birchall is a British Marxist historian and translator, former senior lecturer in French at Middlesex University.. His research interests include the Cominterm, the International Working Class, communism and Trotskyism, France an Syndicalism. He is on the editorial board of Revolutionary History, a member of the London Socialist Historians Group and has just completed a biography of Tony Cliff.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)


Image of 5x15: David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

Talks & Lectures

5x15: David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

Wed 12 Nov 2014, 19:00

5x15 presents

David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

The best-selling author of Cloud Atlas is back

Novelist David Mitchell takes to the stage for a spell-binding talk about literature, invention and the creative process. David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, his newest novel The Bone Clocks has been published to rave reviews and has just been selected for the 2014 Booker longlist. Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Tickets: £15/ £12

Start and End Times: 7pm-8.30pm


Image of London Thinks: Nate Phelps - Leaving Hate Behind

Community

London Thinks: Nate Phelps - Leaving Hate Behind

Thu 13 Nov 2014, 19:30

Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

London Thinks - Nate Phelps: Leaving Hate Behind

Join us for a very special evening in which we hear from Nate Phelps, in an incredibly moving talk on the Westboro Baptist Church, the childhood he spent growing up in, and how he came to leave his family behind at the stroke of midnight on his 18th birthday.

Nate Phelps is son of the late Fred Phelps, founder and patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church – “the most hated family in America”.

Nate is Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry Calgary. A vocal LGBT advocate, he speaks out against the dangers of religion and child abuse, and serves on the board of directors for Recovering from Religion.

The lecture will be chaired by Samira Ahmed.

Samira is an award-winning journalist with 20 years' experience in print and broadcast.
She began her career as a BBC News Trainee in the 90s and has worked as a News Correspondent and a reporter on the Today programme and Newsnight, where she was one of the first broadcast journalists to investigate the rise of Islamic radicalism on British university campuses in the early 1990s. 

Samira won the Stonewall Broadcast of the Year Award in 2009 for her film on so-called "corrective" rape in South Africa, and made the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary series Islam Unveiled. Samira has also worked as a news anchor for BBC World and for Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin, and writes regularly for newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Independent and The Big Issue. She is a Visiting Professor of Journalism at Kingston University.

Tickets: £15 Standard Advance. £5 Conway Hall Ethical Society Members. Please book your tickets using the Eventbrite booking link below.

Doors & Reception: 18:30. Start: 19:30. Ends: 21:30

London Thinks is Conway Hall Ethical Society's monthly discourse on the big issues and problems of society in our age.


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