'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, more people sing in choirs than play in 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 from all over the United Kingdom.
Choir members from Edinburgh to Cornwall were brought together in sessions considering what it means to be British and to share their personal stories. Twenty four 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 available in downloadable form. The intention is for choirs to learn the songs and to form an online hub and community from the songbook. Choirs will be able to share details of their performances and engage in the dialogue around the project as a whole.
The music can be performed up and down the country in local communities and arts centres. A selection of the songs were performed as part of the Art 50 festival at the Barbican in London on 23rd February and The Sage Gateshead on the 24th February, and then again at Snape Maltings on 24th March.
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.
HANBURY AND GROVES have worked together for the past 6 years making music, theatre and installations which use real life testimonials and live song. Their work has been supported by Ovalhouse, English Touring Opera, Bristol Old Vic and Snape Maltings amongst others.