tracking brexit; a three-year project
2017 - the exit process is triggered
"invoking 50 articles"
In 2017, as a response to Britain's vote to leave the European Union, Hugh and Steve (both men) created a new singing ritual for Soprano voices, Alto voices, Tenor voices, Bass voices, glockenspiel, amplified guitar, violin, triangle, vocoder, one video feed, four umbrellas, printouts of every British prime minister from Heath to May and a paper shredder.
This was performed across the South West by the Choral Engineers, an ambitiously eccentric and restlessly creative community choir comprised of members who voted to leave and members who voted to remain. 'Invoking 50 Articles' is distinctly non-tribal and non-partisan in its approach to divisive subject matter. Instead, it explores the limitations of binary politics - made explicit by the yes/no referendum vote.
Read here a reflective review of the piece by Erin Walcon (Doorstep Arts) which also features some stills captured at the first i50a performance.
2018 - the negotiation process has begun
"dancing on eggshells"
April 1st sees the premiere of Dancing on Eggshells.
Inspired by the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the writings of Jonathan Swift, the paintings of Pieter Aertsen, Leeds band Adult Jazz and the singing voice of Jackie Oates, the piece is performed by a resurgent Choral Engineers entirely to synth-heavy backing tracks.
Egged on by a mysterious virtual presence known only as The Speaker, a divided choir have trouble keeping their egg-based negotiations on-piste.
2019 - brexit means brexit
"The tower of babel"
Continuing a tradition of naming these Brexit-inspired pieces well in advance and inspired by finding the dimensions and building instructions for the biblical Tower of Babel in a Torquay care home, the final part of the Brexit Triptych will be named after the storied tower to heaven.
In 2019, the Choral Engineers will present the Brexit Triptych in its entirety. More to follow.