Monthly Archives: November 2013

Human Music at The Voice Project’s Nocturne December 14th


Human Music L-R Dave Camlin, Sharon Durant, Helen Chadwick, Jon Baker, Sian Croose, Katherine Zeserson – seated: Sianed Jones

The vocal acapella group will be performing with The Voice Project Choir on Saturday December 14th. They originally got together for ‘Singing the Building’, Katherine Zeserson’s initiative to sing in (and compose for) all the acoustics of a building: in this case the Sage Gateshead at the building’s inception in 2006. Since then they have recorded in caves in the Lake District and created ‘Singing the Building’ shows for the RSC and the British Museum.

More info about the show on Facebook and on Google +



Get Involved 2014

New ways to get involved with the Voice Project from January (no experience necessary for any of these as usual): a Singing from Scratch course, a Men’s Voices course, a Tuning in course and our new commission for the choir for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival at a very special location to be revealed… Details here

Learning the pieces off by heart…

I’ve posted this before but it’s timely now so here we are again:

With all the music there is to learn, we thought it would be a good idea to itemise a few methods for learning off by heart. Some of them are really obvious but I hope it will be useful if you’re not used to doing this kind of thing. Of course, everyone learns at different speeds in different ways.  a combination of approaches can help. Some people will probably have learned their parts already. Anyway, for those who haven’t, here are some pointers:

  • Take your time – cramming the information doesn’t work as it all becomes a jumble. Being methodical definitely helps.
  • Break things into manageable sections – e.g. an eight-bar sequence.
  • Write the words down.
  • Listen on repeat – not necessarily with full attention: in the car or in the kitchen is good.
  • Sing along as much as possible.
  • Look over the piece whenever you have some free time.
  • Read the poem through as it helps to know what the piece is about.
  • Use a combination of the mixes and the ‘enhanced’ parts.
  • Some people learn music best when asleep (headphones advised for this…)
  • Try to memorise one line at a time, starting with the first. Cover it up and try to repeat it, move to the next etc
  • Try to learn the ‘shape’, the ‘form’ of the song.

Good luck and if anyone has other effective tips for helping to learn by heart then please reply to this post.

The original East Anglian community musician

“I believe in roots, in associations, in backgrounds, in personal relationships. I want my music to be of use to people, to please them, to ‘enhance their lives’. I do not write for posterity – in any case the outlook for that is uncertain. I write music, now, in Aldeburgh, for people living there, and further afield, indeed for anyone who cares to play it or listen to it. But my music now has its roots, in where I live and work. And I only came to realise that in California in 1941”. (First Aspen Award, 1964) Benjamin Britten

Ely Station

Ely Station by Sian Croose

The waiting room smells of bleach

Of warm newspapers and tired food.

The mopped floor a memory

Of a Polish boy on the minimum wage

And the hope of something else.


Lean your head on the window.

Outside the greyness hangs in patches,

Mist and rain like wet washing,

The odd standing figure on the opposite platform

In another film,  not yours.


The light reduces towards evening.

Minutes drip away,

Steam sticks to the walls

And the sad shoulders of the man at the next table

Hunch a little more.


Through the glass,

Three smokers exhale in different directions.

Inside, the woman with calls to make

Finds her place in the world.

It’s not here.

Saturday night fever

Best bit about coming back from Newcastle/Gateshead is that it all gets progressively bleaker – so this is how we spend our Saturday nights…


Human Music Rehearsing Nocturne

Sharon Durant, Katherine Zeserson, Sian Croose and Dave Camlin in room. C26 Sage Gateshead


Prof. Roberto Unger

I thought this may be of interest in case some of you may have missed it on BBC Radio 4’s Analysis programme. Roberto Unger argues that the most important jobs of the individual are to ‘expand their lives’, to be ‘fulfilled’ and to help others in the process. See what you think.

Here’s the link to the iplayer where it will be for a few more days.

Roberto Unger BBC Radio 4 Analysis

From the BBC website:

Renowned social theorist Roberto Unger believes that left-of-centre progressives – his own political side – lack the imagination required to tackle the fundamental problems of society. In the run-up to the US presidential elections of 2012, he declared that his former student Barack Obama “must be defeated”. Professor Unger argued that President Obama had failed in his first term in office to advance the progressive cause. There was, Unger maintained, effectively no difference between the Democrat and Republican political programmes.

In front of an audience at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Roberto Unger discusses with presenter Jo Fidgen the reasons for his critical appraisal of the progressive left in the United States and Europe. He sets out what he believes its alternative agenda should be and gives his verdict on another of his former students: Ed Miliband.

Roberto Mangabeira Unger is the Roscoe Pound professor at Harvard Law School. He served as a minister in the Brazilian government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from 2007-2009. His books include: “The Left Alternative”; “Democracy Realised”; and “The Self Awakened”. His new book, published next year, will address a new theme: “The Religion of the Future”.