Short Courses & Lectures
The Open Programme offers lectures, workshops and short, practical courses in traditional arts and crafts. These are open to anyone over the age of 18 and suit all levels of ability and experience, from beginners to seasoned practitioners.
Students who complete five courses within three years are eligible to receive a certificate of completion.
A Living History of the Oud, its Form & Sound
With Marc Loopuyt
In celebration of our partnership with Aramco Overseas Company:
This special presentation given by well-known French musician, Marc Loopuyt, will be part-lecture, part-performance. Through a rich iconography it will explore the lived history of the Oriental Lute (oud) from the Akkadian civilisation (Mesopotamia, c. 3,000 BC) until today, as well as examine the surprising relationship between several historical lutes with instruments still played in various locations along the Silk Road including the Mashriq (north-eastern Arab world) and the Maghrib (north-west Africa).
Alphanumeric Cosmology: The Grammar and Arithmetic of the Cosmos
With Dr Juan Acevedo
The civilizations that grew around the Mediterranean in the early Middle Ages had as one of their basic shared doctrines the idea that physical reality is ultimately made of letters, or rather letter-numbers, hence that the world is a book, an harmonic and meaningful composition. The lecturer will explore how this idea is related to Hermes and his half-sisters the Muses, how language and boundaries, wit and skill, magic and music, creativity and the crafts are related to a set of elusive alphanumeric elements. This will touch on the Platonic and Abrahamic view of God as the Great Artisan, and of the world as his design and tour de force.