£5,409

£11,950 target 30 days left
45% 96 supporters
This project will only be funded if at least £11,950 is pledged by 17th May 2021 at 9:10am

SoS Music is planning a rewarding, creative residential for leaders of community choirs, in recognition of their work to connect people...

by SoS Music - ALL SING! in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

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In brief...

A plan to run a fantastic five day residential, on a remote island, for community choir leaders who have been working hard to support their singers during lockdown.  New learning resources will be created and shared with choirs across the world! 

If you are someone who loves the album and knows the joy and solace the songs can bring - check out the rewards, which will take you back to the highlights of Songs of Separation and our big win at the BBC2 Folk Awards!

If you are a community choir leader or singer, this project will result in wonderful resources for you.  Pledge your support and get your ears around the music, with musical rewards!  

We need to raise £11,950 to make this high quality project happen.  Thank you for your support!  It's an 'all or nothing' campaign, which means that you get 100% of your money back if the target is not reached.

The Background...

Back in 2015, I whisked a gang of amazing musicians away to a tiny island in the Hebrides, to make Songs of Separation, a beautiful album of songs which explore 'what we share' and 'how we are connected' to other humans, through history and in our experiences of life. People told us that the music moved them deeply, left them feeling supported, connected and part of a bigger picture.  Part of the human race.

Little did we know that the whole world would soon be facing an unprecedented period of 'separation'; from our friends and loved ones, and from our normal lives, as a result of the pandemic.  

Photo credit:  Ben Cormack / Field recording:  Andy Bell


Music As Community...

I've been watching as community choir leaders work hard to support their members throughout lockdown, running online singing sessions and providing much-needed connection, to help combat isolation.  Working to keep musical communities together.  Providing vital support.

I want to acknowledge this, and offer a very special musical experience for ten community choir leaders, on the tiny Scottish Isle of Lismore, in summer 2022.


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What is the "All Sing" Project? 

The "All Sing"project  will bring together community choirs from across Scotland (and further afield) to mark the end of an unprecedented period of human 'separation' and the value of connection through music. The project will recognise and reward ten community choir leaders for the immense support they have given to their choirs during lockdown.  It will be an opportunity to share, to learn, to be creative and to revitalise after a challenging time.

What will we do?

As well as enjoying the immense beauty of the Highlands, adventures with ferries and wellies and collies (there are always collies on Scottish islands!), this will be an opportunity to learn new music, singing arrangements of songs which speak to our times - on the themes of ecology, equality and self-realisation.  Using choral arrangements of music from Songs of Separation, we will sing together, and choir leaders will have the opportunity to input to these arrangements, in readiness for recreating the songs with their own choirs when they go home.

Choir leaders will be invited to Lismore for a 5 day residential break, which will include singing in strange places (Castle Coeffin).  We will rehearse, finalise and record each vocal part, so that choirs at home have helpful resources to revise new songs - making the music accessible to both singers who read notation, and singers who prefer to learn by ear.  We will also have 'free-style' musical fun, with sessions in the evenings, welcoming local musicians to join us and enjoy!  If we can raise enough money, we'll make a short film to tell the story of this adventure.  

These resources will be available to more choirs - hopefully across the world!  Scores, parts, lyrics and recorded parts (for aural learners) will be available to download after the residential.

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Recognising the Impact of Covid19 on Islands

Small Scottish islands often rely heavily on tourism for income.  The pandemic has affected people living in places where welcoming visitors is part of their livelihood.

This project might help because, on Lismore, there is a brilliant film maker, a supportive and accommodating sound engineer (with studio), and two friendly, musician-hosts, who welcome people to their beautiful croft in the north of the island.  We need to raise enough money to pay these people well, for their warm welcome, and we hope the "SoS Music - All Sing" project will support the efforts of the whole community to attract creative tourism.  It was one of the aims of the original Songs of Separation album, which took place on the Isle of Eigg.  You can explore this in the band's videos on youtube:

Film credit:  Ben Cormack, Picarus Films


The big dream...

When the ten choir leaders have gone away home, refreshed and revitalised, and have enjoyed making this music with their choirs, the dream is to bring the ten choirs together and have a massed performance of songs that really 'call out' some of the things we most need to change in our post-pandemic world:  

* The gap between rich and poor. 

* The need to take nothing more seriously than climate change.  

* The role of the West in creating suffering for humankind. 

* The need to 'find our own way home' after a world-changing event such as Covid19.

What the musicians say...

Whilst community choir leaders spend a lot of time looking after the musical needs of others they are, importantly, musicians in their own right.  Here are some of the comments from musicians who took part in the original SoS Music adventure, on the Isle of Eigg:

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Your help to make this happen!

This unforgettable experience can only happen with your help!  And if donations come in quickly, they will be matched by Creative Scotland (*until the match funding runs out*).  

Running a residential of this nature is quite expensive, and there will also be a lot of preparation time needed - for example, selecting the choir leaders, liaising with them, transcribing the remaining songs, arranging all the logistics and covering the costs of everyone's travel, accommodation and food.  Paying a film maker and recording engineer, hosts and caterers... 

Thank you for your generosity in making this very special thing happen for community choir leaders who have worked hard to connect people, through music, during lockdown.  Thank you for helping us bring the world back together through music.  

My personal thanks for all contributions, large or small, and my gratitude to all the supportive Songs of Separation fans who love this music and know the solace and joy it can bring.

With love,

Jenny Hill 

March 2021

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Photo credit:  Daniel Lacasta

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

24 of 60 claimed

Songs of Separation Album (CD) & thank you note

The very last run of CDs has been made - there will be no more :-(. This is because people don't buy CDs, and choose streaming instead. Get your hands on one of the final physical copies. Comes with handwritten thank you note!

£4 or more

3 of 9 claimed

Fridge Magnet

You know what they say... 'Cold fridge, warm heart'!! Grab yourself one of only 9 remaining commemorative fridge magnets!

£5 or more

3 of 15 claimed

Big sticker & a little thank you note

Little pickers need big stickers! Grab yourself an instrument case sticker, for you or a friend, and you'll receive it with a handwritten thank you postcard.

£10 or more

2 of 150 claimed

Commemorative post card

If you just want to help, and don't mind too much about having 'stuff', pop a tenner into the pot and we will send you a hand-written thank you postcard with commemorative artwork from the first Songs of Separation tour!

£10 or more

5 of 30 claimed

SoS map of The Isle of Eigg

A beautiful, oldly-worldy map of the Isle of Eigg - the magic place where the Songs of Separation was recorded! This will be posted to you in a poster tube (hence slightly more expensive due to postage).

£10 or more

1 of 60 claimed

Poor Man's Lamentation Lyrics Poster

"There is enough, enough for all and much besides to spare!" If you love the lyrics and the premise of Poor Man's Lamentation (one of the songs we will cover during the SoS Music - ALL SING project), we'll send you one of these in a poster tube.

£10 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Original Tour Artwork Poster

If you loved Songs of Separation, and got to know the musicians through the project, you'll love this poster. Ten smiley faces and the SoS logo on an A3 poster (sent to you in a poster tube).

£12 or more

6 of 30 claimed

Songs of Connection - live streamed in living room

Jen, the Producer and bassist of SoS, is also a songwriter. A very shy songwriter. She has written eight songs inspired by the whole experience of Songs of Separation, which take a sometimes-comedic, sometimes-poignant look at 'the way we are' as a species. Inspired by her namesake 'Jenny Hill, The Vital Spark' (a C19th music halls celebrity!) Jen will present these songs from her living room, and tell you the stories behind them.

£15 or more

8 of 28 claimed

SoS Poster with real autographs! Very rare!

Just a handful of these posters left in existence! The musicians of Songs of Separation spent a lot of time signing posters at our gigs! Get your hands on one of only 28 left in the world!

£15 or more

3 of 20 claimed

Handmade SoS Shortbread, made with love!

Receive a box of hand-made, home-made Scottish shortbread, decorated with dark, milk and white chocolate (alluding to the SoS logo!). Minimum ten shortbread biscuits in each box. [Sorry, not suitable for Vegans or Gluten Free]

£15 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Album sleeve notes (print yourself at home)

So, with the demise of the CD format, we're also mourning the lovely sleeve notes (created by Lillias Kinsman Blake, from 'The Shee').. Here is a downloadable and printable booklet, that tells you stories of all of the songs and why the song was chosen. (It is in 'printers pairs' which means you can print and staple, to make your own book!).

£15 or more

4 of 100 claimed

Musical notation (score) for The Unst Boat Song

If you'd like to have a go at singing one of the songs from the album, Jen has notated The Unst Boat Song. The words, in Norn (from Shetland) are a sea prayer for calm waters. Try this at home with your friends and family as a way of celebrating 'coming back together' after lockdown. Singing our way to a place of calm.

£40 or more

0 of 30 claimed

An Introduction to the Piano (for children)

A 40 minute lesson for children (or adults who would like a confidence boost), introducing the piano, playing games which help develop a love of music theory learning, and singing together. On zoom or in person (in Edinburgh), with Jenny Hill (MA Cantab). Lessons will take place in autumn 2021 (please book by 30th Sept).

£50 or more

0 of 30 claimed

Double Trouble! Two double basses (U & Me!)

A 50 minute introduction to the double bass (for newbies). Or 'Better Bowing" (for self-taught double bassists). Alternatively, an introduction to 'grooving' (without notated music) for classical bass players. Please note: lessons will take place in autumn 2021, on Zoom or in Edinburgh. Please book by 30th September.

£150 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Got An Idea? Project Design Consultancy

If you are a musician or someone who works to 'make big things happen' (preferably thing that affect people's lives positively), you can bounce your ideas around with Jen. She has 20 years of arts and third sector project development and management under her belt, and is an 'ideas person'. If you want someone to talk to in confidence, build on ideas, be encouraged to 'think laterally' and to make your project fundable, this is for you! (online)

£250 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Face the Music! For Arts Funding Professionals

Jen has led high quality, high value arts projects. She has worked in management, leadership and Board-development in the third sector. These one-to-one sessions are an opportunity for strategic leaders of funding organisations to drill down into the impact of their policy and practice on musicians 'on the ground'. Acknowledging the vital nature of arts funding, along with the 'blindspots' that can make arts funding inaccessible for many.

Let's make 'SoS Music - All Sing!' happen

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