SMPC has a large collection of instrumental music (classical, folk, jazz, blues and contemporary) plus sound effects and many books about music in the reference library. There are also the original reel-to-reel sound recordings from The Miles Lee Puppet Theatre at the Belgrave Mews from 1950-1961.
The Centre has also been used for public music events including performances by Jim Couza (hammer dulcimer), The Allans Folk Band (ceilidhs), Kathakali (Theyam), Taiko Drumming (Sokobauno).
Music is the muse we dance and dream our dreams to and which appeals to all our senses and plays on our sentient being. All forms of energy and scattered laws can be fused into music – tones, timbres, rhythms, nuances, pauses, accents and tempi – together with all the physical and dynamic phenomena of the world of sound.
All the great performance traditions (Greek, Medieval, Noh, Commedia, Wayang – to name but a few) have specific musical sounds and musical practices/instruments associated with them. An exhibition of masks and puppets that does not situate the musical instruments and musicians alonside the performer will be a reductive affair!
Many mask and puppet artists see the creation of a new piece of work by hearing a sound or particular song or piece of music BEFORE creating a character or drafting a scenario. Indeed many performers given the option prefer to work accompanied by live musicians. The Centre is equipped with an 8-track recording studio with capability to work across all formats including 33/78 discs, reel-to-reel, cassette, cd’s and mini disc.