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Pro-EU musician gets funding from department of arch-Brexiter Liam Fox

Pro-EU musician gets funding from department of arch-Brexiter Liam Fox
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By Chris Harris
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The composer wants to collaborate with musicians across Europe to fight the idea the UK is retreating to an absurd little enclave.

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He’s the composer who wants to kickback against Brexit discord by collaborating with musicians in every European country.

Matthew Herbert will release music from his Brexit Big Band project on the day the UK quits the European Union – set for March 29, 2019.

Now his initiative has received a grant from the unlikeliest of places – the UK government department headed up by key Brexiter Liam Fox.

Herbert’s project will be one of a dozen musicians sharing £181,944 (203,330 euros) from the UK Department for International Trade.

The composer, who says he will collaborate with musicians in every European country for the project, has previously told the BBC he wanted to fight against the impression created by Leave campaigners the UK was “retreating into an absurd little enclave”.

He said in a recent interview posted to YouTube: “It feels really exciting just to be able to stand up and ‘physicalise’ a political position which is we believe in the idea of collaboration, we believe in the importance of the imagination, of creativity, of sharing it across borders and just the value of compassion.

“One of the things we were not really anticipating was quite what a mess Brexit would be and how quickly it’s changing.

“So in a way we’re starting to form our own plan again I guess, our own journey through or our own perspective. It’s actually going to take two years to collaborate with all this people anyway so almost regardless of what happens with the government we’ll be releasing something two years from when Article 50 was released. So at least we’ll be sticking to the timetable.”

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