Ruthless Jabiru: Studio Pivot

by Kelly Lovelady in London, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £10,755

raised so far



Support the orchestra as we venture into the digital realm. Help us lift up our artists to keep making tender, provocative, empowering work!

by Kelly Lovelady in London, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 30th November 2020 we'd raised £10,468 with 77 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Pandemic life has not made things any easier for freelancers in the cultural sector––especially those of us relying on gatherings for our craft!

It’s no secret that a lot of orchestral musicians are struggling at the moment due to cancelled seasons, closed venues and reduced orchestra numbers.

As the Artistic Director of my own chamber orchestra, I have the unique ability to create work for my members to help relieve the financial and emotional strain of our time––and hopefully produce some exquisite sensory fodder in the process!

The Orchestra

Many of you have followed the progress of Ruthless Jabiru since our launch in 2011: my dear London chamber orchestra centred around Activism-inspired music of our own time. We are a conducted ensemble of professional Australian musicians in the UK who aspire to bring visibility and compassion to vital social justice issues in collaboration with our friends in the campaigning sector.

For the past 9 years, Ruthless Jabiru has delivered exclusively live performance to a range of audiences across central London. We are now asking your support as we pivot our practice into the studio in light of Covid-19.   

The Project

I'm so happy to announce that Ruthless Jabiru will be producing our first recorded project in collaboration with East London label Nonclassical: the first complete album of music by British Iranian composer+educator Soosan Lolavar, considered "long overdue" according to Nonclassical's Gabriel Prokofiev!

This album will allow us to bring Soosan's beautiful music to an international audience through sales, streaming and broadcast. The visibility we can offer her, through this project and our combined networks, will bring Soosan and her works to the attention of many great orchestras & ensembles worldwide for future programming, commissioning and collaboration.


In total we'll spend 5 days in the rehearsal/recording studios: this being the component of the project which requires the most people together in one room (25 of us for the biggest piece on the album). All sessions will happen within a Covid-secure venue, with players distanced accordingly and extra measures in place to ensure everyone's safety. We'll hold these sessions as soon as possible on achieving our total project budget but will be prepared to adapt the schedule to the public health situation and UK government advice as needed. 

Beyond the studio, we'll also be further collaborating with a team of video artists to create at least one short film which will bring Soosan's music to life even more vividly. 

The Costs

Your donations will allow me to do my own small part in easing the strain on our industry due to Covid-19. Many of Ruthless Jabiru's members have been ineligible for government-sponsored aid for various reasons, myself included. We've also been ineligible for any organisational grants supporting cultural recovery through the pandemic. However, Ruthless Jabiru has always relied on project-to-project funding, so we continue in optimism! 

Crowdfunder has generously removed all fees for campaigns responding to the coronavirus, so the orchestra will receive 100% of your pledge. 

Donations raised will supplement (hopefully!) grantfunding and our eventual sales+streaming income; to offset the costs of venue hire, production, post-production, PR, marketing, and project fees for 40+ freelance musicians, creatives and staff across the series.

Also the kicker—we're fundraising on an All or nothing basis so your pledges will only be processed if we hit our target!

I really hope you'll join me in advocating for the vital changemaking power of the arts at this unexpected moment in contemporary life. 

The Rewards [Our rewards campaign has now ended but our page remains open for donations]

As a gesture of thanks I've curated this collection of rewards which I hope has something to suit everyone's taste! If you'd like to contribute to the costs of posting your item internationally, you'll have the option to add an additional donation at checkout.

I know this is a weird time and not everyone is in a position to give a cash donation. If you'd like to support us by donating something we can add to our rewards marketplace, get in touch!

These beautiful books look back on some of the issues I've centred Ruthless Jabiru's musical programmes around in recent years:


See+hear our friends Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first majority Black, Asian and ethnically diverse orchestra in a future dress rehearsal: 


A 12-month digital subscription to one of Australia's finest, Limelight Magazine:


An exclusive multipass to the remaining performances in the Barbican's first ever Livestream season:





Plus holiday shows added:




Face time with composer+educator Soosan Lolavar, who will join us herself on experimental santoor for our beautiful album together:


A private video masterclass with the indomitable Bindi McFarlane, long-serving fixture in the London Symphony Orchestra, Australian World Orchestra and Ruthless Jabiru:


Also some new rewards just added! 

Considering the situation.. #MasksforMusic:



History lesson of dreams from our friends at Nonclassical:



This project offered rewards

£30 or more

Signed CD

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself

£5 or more

Single Track

Digital download of any of our singles or album tracks

£30 or more

#MasksforMusic 2-pack

Adjustable fabric face masks handmade ethically in fair trade conditions and with plastic-free shipping. Your choice of #MasksforMusic 2-Pack [Full colour printed polyester outer / breathable cotton lining] or Bye Bye Plastic x #MasksforMusic Eco-Fabric 2-Pack [Black 100% eco-cotton with print logo]

£40 or more

Signed CD & Paperback Copy of 'Honour'

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus a paperback copy of Honour: Achieving Justice for Banaz Mahmod by Caroline Goode, former Detective Superintendent in the Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police. Published in March 2020 and source for the recent ITV docudrama, Honour, the book documents the true story of the police investigation into the so-called 'honour' killing of Banaz Mahmod

£60 or more

Signed CD & Signed Copy of 'Artwash'

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus an exclusive signed copy of Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts by artist and activist Mel Evans. 'This fascinating book delves deeply into art sponsorship, one of the more insidious tools that the fossil fuel industry deploys to maintain its power' (Naomi Klein). A gripping exposé raising important questions about artistic censorship and complicity

£60 or more

Signed CD & Signed Copy of 'Atomic Thunder'

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus an exclusive signed copy of Atomic Thunder: British Nuclear Testing in Australia by journalist and academic Elizabeth Tynan. Winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History 2017 and CHASS Australia Book Prize 2017, the bitter truth is revealed of what really happened at Maralinga for our Indigenous communities, our environment, and our democracy

£60 or more

Signed CD & Signed Copy of 'We Break Strings'

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus an exclusive copy of We Break Strings: The Alt-Classical Music Scene in London signed by composer, producer, DJ & Artistic Director of Nonclassical, Gabriel Prokofiev. A collected history of photos, interviews & essays charting the rise of London's alternative classical music scene; with accompanying CD of live recordings from the 10-year archive of Nonclassical club nights

£70 or more

Signed CD & Chineke! Orchestra Rehearsal Pass

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus a rehearsal pass for 2 to attend a future dress rehearsal by our friends Chineke! Orchestra: Europe’s first majority Black, Asian and ethnically diverse orchestra

£75 or more

Signed CD & Video Credit

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus acknowledgement in the video credits of each of our short films. Who knows, maybe they'll go viral! In any case they'll definitely be online for the foreseeable future

£75 or more

Signed CD & 12-Month Subscription to Limelight

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus a 12-month digital subscription to Limelight Magazine. 1 year digital access includes access to all paywalled content including digital magazines

£80 or more

Signed CD & Barbican Livestream Multipass

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus a streaming ticket for each of the 4x remaining concerts in the Live from the Barbican autumn season. The Barbican does not offer any ticket bundles so this 4-in-1 is exclusive to our campaign. Stream is available for 48 hours after broadcast so suitable for all timezones

£100 or more

Signed CD & Album Credit

Hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; plus a formal acknowledgement within the print & digital CD booklet

£200 or more

Video Mentoring Session with Kelly Lovelady

In addition to a hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; I'll share my ideas, systems and solutions in response to your questions on conducting, score study, programming, advocacy & social responsibility, cultural Activism, starting & sustaining an orchestra, freelancing in the arts sector; and/or any other professional topics of your choosing!

£200 or more

Video Mentoring Session with Soosan Lolavar

In addition to a hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; Soosan will share her expertise as a composer+educator across Iranian and western classical musics. Learn about these traditions, her experimental santoor practice, explore ideas around hybridity, diaspora and double-consciousness in music from a leading researcher in the field, present your work in a 1:1 composition surgery; or an alternative topic to suit!

£250 or more

Video Masterclass with violinist Bindi McFarlane

In addition to a hard copy of our CD signed by composer Soosan Lolavar and myself; Ruthless Jabiru violinist Bindi McFarlane will teach an exclusive private masterclass on the music of your choice. Bindi has been a core member of the London Symphony Orchestra for 29 years, the Australian World Orchestra since outset, and a regular tutor with the Australian Youth Orchestra throughout her career

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