Tag Archives: #writerscentrenorwich

R&D Aldeburgh Music Residency at Snape – March 2012

Rebecca Askew, Sian Croose, Sianed Jones and Jon Baker spent some time last week working on the musical shape of the new N&N Festival commission of “Singing the City – From Dawn to Dusk”. Very exciting to hear the music coming together and to imagine where and at what time of day we’ll be performing the pieces.

L-R Rebecca, Sian, Sianed in the Jerwood Kiln Room, Snape Maltings, March 2012

Of course, all this hard work is helped immeasurably by singing in the wonderful acoustic of the Kiln Room in Snape Maltings. The wooden floor, acoustic wooden panels and the tall tapered ceiling chimney left in place by the architects make this room sound simultaneously warm, detailed and very ‘present’.

Two miles down the road from Snape, the partly Saxon church at Iken, sitting on a promontory jutting out into the estuary also has a great acoustic – fairly dry and clear.

St Botolph’s Church Iken

Sianed and Sian in St Botolph’s Iken, Suffolk. March 2012

Singing the City from Dawn to Dusk – Saturday 12th May

It seems like an age since we did the marathon that was Singing the City from Dawn to Dusk. It was such a great experience for very many reasons and full of lots of memorable sounds and sights – the dawn tableau: sixty singers in the cloisters framed by the beautiful tracery of the Gothic arches, the Peregrine Falcons circling the spire, the audience (many of whom had been up all night) standing in a circle surrounded by white rope, the ghostly choir procession, the sunrise making the cathedral glow at ‘just the right moment’.

Illa Lucem Extendebat (Photo: Phil Sayer)

Waiting for the Light (photo: Phil Sayer)

…back to bed for most people until the afternoon then ‘This is the City…” ringing out across St Andrew’s Plain and beyond…

“…today in the middle of things – singing out in the heart of the city’ (photo: Phil Sayer)

…processing to the NUCA Garth and St Peter Hungate, gathering around the parish pump, singing from windows (when was the last time Elm Hill was so busy?)…

“Life is not a dream – careful, careful” (photo: Phil Sayer)

…Floating Peggy by the river then back to the Garth for “We believe that the great end of civil society is happiness”

‘The Norwich Patriotic Society Manifesto 1795’ (photo: Phil Sayer)

To end this fantastic day, a return to the cloisters…

“All manner of things shall be well” (photo: Phil Sayer)

…a procession to the great west doors…

“…while pails from the well all weep” (photo: Phil Sayer)

…and then a procession to the candlelit nave.

“Into Dusk Into Day” (photo: Phil Sayer)

Lots of thanks are due: first to all members of the Voice Project Choir for their hard work and commitment; the poets George Szirtes and Andrew McDonnell for their fine words; the composers Orlando Gough, Helen Chadwick and Jeremy Avis, soloists Sianed Jones, Rebecca Askew and Jeremy Avis, percussionists Simon Limbrick and Carl Cole, Chris Gribble and Katy Carr at the Writers Centre, our producer at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Roz Coleman and our performance directors Geraldine Pilgrim and Julie Rose Bower.

Norwich Patriotic Society Manifesto 1795

“We believe that the great end of civil society is happiness”

Demos of this have been recorded and are now online here. Composer Orlando Gough has made this setting. We were wondering if this extraordinary, egalitarian document has been set to music before (?) You can read more about the background to this text which agitates for parliamentary reform by following this link:


Singing the City Great 1st rehearsal

Orlando Gough’s “All Shall Be Well” sounded really good and we still have two parts to add –  it will be ‘luminous’…