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The Voice Project

Ideas of winged flight taking off

The Voice Project at Norwich Cathedral

part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2013

Review published in Eastern Daily Press, 13 May 2013


Swirls of ideas and flocks of birds taking flight, soaring to emotional and intellectual delights, came together sublimely in the Voice Project’s work in the great Cathedral arena. As darkness fell outside, the sense of bird above was palpable.

The one hundred-strong choir, the brilliant Trio Zephyr, cool saxophonist Andy Sheppard, tenor Jeremy Aris, sopranos Rebecca Askew and Sianed Jones used ten poems about birds from all manner of poets to interpret the wings of flight.

Music was variously composed by Karen Wimhurst, Orlando Gough and Barbara Thompson, from differing backgrounds and musical streams. The result was eclectic and rivetting, sometimes quirky and humorous, then sombre and dark.

Jonathan Baker, who also composed, sang bass and directed, sharing honours with the amazing conductor Sian Croose, for devising and setting free the dynamic of language partnered with the power of diverse ideas, hopes, fears, symbols. Her hands were a kind of bird-wing ballet, directing, leading, coaxing the voices.

Originally inspired by the RSPB Poetry Project, it all took off and acquired a life of its own, rich in images, memories and possibilities for all animal-kind.

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