'Song for a United Kingdom' by Hanbury & Groves
Britain loves to sing in choirs of all types - Gospel, NHS, Male Voice, Fishermen’s, Schools, Acapella and Rock, to name a few… In fact, there are more choirs than football clubs in the UK so commissioning this ambitious choir project was a no-brainer for Art 50.
Rebecca Hanbury and Alex Groves will connect with choirs that reflect the diverse, wide ranging people that make up this United Kingdom, and work to unite disparate communities through shared ideas and song.
How will they do this? They will talk to choir members about what it means to be British and use these conversations to create a songbook. The focus will be on the reasons why people have different views and images of Britain, rather than reinforcing the in/out binary that for so long has defined our current political discourse.
Interviews will be turned into lyrics by Rebecca and then set to music by Alex. The music will then be given to the choirs to learn and a website created to form an online hub and community for the songbook. Here choirs will be able to find out more about the songbook, share details of their performances and engage in a dialogue around the project as a whole. The music will be performed up and down the country in local communities, arts centres and potentially at both the Barbican and Sage with a possibility of a performance at Snape Maltings, where Rebecca and Alex are resident artists as part of the Open Space scheme.
ALEX GROVES is a composer, previously commissioned by the Union Chapel and Royal Opera House & East London Dance.
REBECCA HANBURY is a theatre director, who has worked for Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, Regents Park Open Air Theatre & Scottish Opera.
They have worked together under the name Born Mad for the past 4 years making music, theatre and installations which use real life testimonials and live song and recently rebranded to Hanbury and Groves. Their work has been supported by Ovalhouse, Bristol Old Vic and Snape Maltings amongst others.