Last night the Come Together community celebrated the theme of 'Connection' in an event showcasing their creative responses to this theme. They shared a selection of the visual art, music, poetry and more which had been created and curated by them during online meetings with theatre director Rachel Yates, music leader Sam Glazer and musicians from Britten Sinfonia.
Come Together was intended to attract a diverse range of people in the Saffron Walden area, picking up from The Lost Letters intergenerational project that achieved such great things in 2019. In partnership with Saffron Hall and Britten Sinfonia, we decided to hold a series of six online workshops over the first three months of this year, looking to engage with known and new people in the local community, testing ways in which they could work collectively on a range of arts activity, and consulting about the shape of a more long-term project.
The process culminated with a virtual sharing event on 10 March for an audience of friends, family and invited guests. Theatre director Rachel Yates and music leader Sam Glazer led the presentation of live vignettes in which the 20 participants and 6 artists gave a flavour of their varied artistic exploration. From a visual art improvisation in response to a viola piece by Thea Musgrave, to group singing of an African song, to poetry and graphic scores interpreted by the musicians, it was a joyful and moving celebration of everyone’s responses to the theme of Connection. A particularly striking moment was when all performers used torches to create a collage of shifting light beams and shapes. As Rachel said, “Zoom boxes are our stage.” To round off the event, a 15 minute film was shown, which wove together many elements of the work co-created during the project, including spoken words and a musical soundtrack assembled from separate recordings.
Tune in. Let yourself get pulled into the vibrations in the air pushing at the drums in your ears, the pulsing of the blood inside your skull, the messages carried in the blood to the synapses in your brain and felt everywhere. It’s just air, but it’s everything. And all of us, in our tiny boxes, all part of this call and reply, this strong voice and echo calling loud always coming back all of us tuning in interpreting this together alone with whatever sense we can make of it.
~ A poem written by a participant on the theme of 'tuning in' to your community
You can watch the film Come Together: Tune In below:
The enthusiasm of those involved was testament to the positive experience and learning gained by everyone, and the project was successful in forming a launch pad from which a permanent Come Together Community will evolve, collaborating with different performing artists and companies programmed by Saffron Hall over the coming years. Orchestras Live looks forward to collaborating on further exciting orchestral projects in the future.
Come Together is a Saffron Hall project, co-produced with Orchestras Live, with support from Essex County Council and Arts Council England. Also supported by Uttlesford District Council. In Partnership with Britten Sinfonia.