Arts Dream is developing a unique project for Selsey!
In the 1940’s a Selsey resident and international composer Eric Coates, inspired by the view across the sea to Bognor Regis, wrote the light music classic 'By the Sleepy Lagoon', which became the signature tune of 'Desert Island Discs'. That lagoon is no longer there as the beach changes shape year upon year.
This climatic phenomena will be the stimulus for a new and original choral work, composed by international composer Howard Moody who has a deep connection with Selsey having holidayed at his family home right on East beach for over 40 years. The piece will be performed by local community groups, choirs, singers, and 4 brass band players. We estimate 80- 100 participants. Initially the piece will be premiered on June 5th as part of the Selsey Jubilee Jamboree celebrations on the Cricket Field with two performances at 3pm and 5pm (tbc). There will be other performances in July and August the piece will be inclusive of all abilities. This is your opportunity to be part of it!
This is a piece about Selsey written by a Selsey Composer and sung by Selsey singers. So a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in something very special.
The piece will be organised through the leaders of:
- Selsey Community Choir
- Sing your Heart Out Selsey
- St Peters Church Choir
- Cloud Nine Youth Theatre Group
You will be given full information of what you need to do to prepare for this event and will rehearse particular themes and ideas in preparation for a visit by Howard Moody on Saturday May 28TH to the Selsey Centre 2-4pm where there will be a major rehearsal with everyone and the brass band players in preparation for the performance on the 5TH of June. We envisage other rehearsals in May (date and time to be decided)
We would love to have as many people as possible who are involved in one way or another with the sea and coastline to be involved, there will be a wonderful “shanty’ chorus, easy to learn, and absolutely zero singing experience required that could be taught at your place of work or even at a hostelry of your choice! If you think your team, crew, gang would like to do this please just let us know. This is a Selsey song, for Selsey and we would love you to be part of it.
Communication with everyone will be through the Shifting Shingle Face book page which will be live from the middle of February.
If you want to be involved, then please register on the FB page, or let your choral and group leaders know. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
from the composer.
Shifting Shingle is a musical reflection of the tidal landscape of Selsey. It also raises some of the big environmental concerns of the local residents with particular reference to the “sleepy lagoon” that has now disappeared, let alone its challenged fishing industry. It is a piece about transformation and change, so it been fitting that over the last two months Shifting Shingle has become so much more than just an interpretation of physical reality. It is now difficult to hear the lyrics without feeling that they also reflect our own shifting emotional experiences in a changing world, with images of disappearing lagoons, moving borders and crumbling shores.
Hearing such a diverse cross-section of the local community coming together through music is what makes my new piece live and breathe. It has become a safe place in which individual chorus members can express their own shifting shingle of experience if they chose to. The lyrics and melodies have become a place for everyone to express their own stories whilst opening their eyes to the beauty of the landscape that surrounds them.
The project has opened up many opportunities for local choral groups to get together. Shanty singers (who usually sing in an informal way) stand happily next to singers who learn music in a more structured way. I was especially touched by the opportunity to meet Belinda Gannon’s music groups, including a Friday singing group that involves dementia patients and their carers, bringing them all together through song. I was blown away by the skill and heart that Belinda gave the group in her leadership, drawing out such spirited singing at the same time as celebrating all levels of participation. Many of the group went on to become part of the whole chorus who will premiere the piece as part of Selsey’s Jubilee celebrations on June 5th. One member of their group participates in total silence yet her contribution becomes the loudest voice in the room. This is the real shifting shingle of music making as the project becomes more than the sum of its parts.
Arts Dream Selsey has visioned something truly beautiful. Thank you.
May 28 2022