Spell Songs in the Green was initiated by Halesworth Community Choir with W&BA and was intended to culminate in a live community-based performance involving all participants on Halesworth Millennium Green in June 2021.
Due to the impact of Covid it’s now a unique creative film, which we hope will have a lasting legacy. The process of filming and recording the singers, dancers and school children has ensured a sense of joy and community has remained central to the project.
The project has brought together creative professionals and local adults and children to highlight the beauty and fragility of nature and threats to wildlife, by using powerful and complimentary creative language and art forms.
By adapting after lockdown, we enabled people to remain connected with creative outlets through the worrying and isolating months of 2020 and 2021.
Not only did the dancers and choir members rise to the challenges of dealing with new technology and developing their creative input in isolation, but the teachers also had to find ways of enabling the 75 children to learn and contribute their own unique voices.
W&BA volunteer team found different ways to collaborate, learn skills, raise additional funds, adapt budgets and timescales, and recruit new expertise in the form of filmmakers and sound engineer.
With funding support from local and regional bodies, we appointed local filmmakers Koan Arts. Working with the project’s creative director and choir leader, Janet Koralambe the 49-strong Halesworth Community Choir had to learn the spell songs online and record them individually as Covid kept them apart.
The dancers included 14 adult dancers from Company Cut Dance under directorship of Caroline Mummery, and 75 pupils from Edgar Sewter and Wenhaston primary schools. School teachers, working with our team, taught the children their spell songs and the movements that would accompany them. The youngsters also tie-dyed their own t-shirts for the filming.
The creation of the film has begun. As we anticipate a lot of interest we are planning two performances including a launch of the film at The Cut in Halesworth on 9th October.
Enjoying the experience
Feedback from the participants in all this has been hugely positive. Asked to choose words that summed it all up, they talked of enjoyment, inspiration, community of purpose, challenge, learning, fellowship, sanity, hope and joy.
‘A hopeful, healing message. The need to go back to basics: to take time, to truly notice and listen. Tuning in to what is under our nose, around us, living closer to the earth, more in harmony with ourselves, each other and our environment’
‘Important feeling part of something with a future. Flowering during a time that took away so much of our personal agency’
‘It’s been really important to me to be in touch with others, to have a sense of purpose and enjoyment’
‘The film which will be a lasting legacy of the project and will perhaps reach and influence many more people’
The 5pm showing was completely sold out!
Our funders. We are grateful to these organisations for their financial support to the Spell Songs in the Green project.
The Cut Arts Centre