'When We Collide: A British Songbook' 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.
Over the last two years Rebecca Hanbury and Alex Groves have connected with choirs, reflecting the diverse, wide ranging people that make up this United Kingdom, and worked to unite disparate communities through shared ideas in an amazing new British Songbook.
Choir members from Edinburgh to Cornwall were brought together in sessions looking about what it means to be British and use these conversations about people's most personal stories about their lives and identity. 24 groups and over 600 people took part in these storytelling workshops including fishermen, schoolchildren, teenagers and policemen - a whole cross section of people in choirs across the UK were included. Verbatim views were intelligently and sensitively turned into lyrics by Rebecca and then set to music by Alex in a variety of styles, whilst still remaining a cohesive whole.
The music is currently being handed out to 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 in March, where Rebecca and Alex are resident artists as part of the Open Space scheme.It will also be heard at the Sage in Gateshead on the 24th February and the Barbican in London on the 23rd February during the Art 50 festivals
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.