Thursday, 25 January 2018

Bookshops and new projects

Coming up from Dublin the other day I had a quick run into the shopping centre and just couldn't go past Waterstone's Book Shop.   An invisible hand pulled me in.   I swear I had nothing to do with it :)

What is it about a book shop?  It just fills me with delight and excitement - touching all those covers with stories inside - voyages of discovery to take.  People to meet.  Battles to fight, to be won, to be lost, and to travel in my mind to all those wonderful places.  Tom usually has to steer me out with the shakes if I don't actually get to buy something but I escaped from him today ... Mwahahahahaha

Anyway, I came away with two lovely looking new novels to keep me quiet in between getting stressed with a brand new project for Singmarra (although I later realised that East West STreet is actually a biography - not sure about that ... see!  way too eager to just get a book in my hand without paying much attention to what was inside it).

So yes, a new project for Singmarra

I do mainly secular music with my choir - folk, pop, African, songs in different languages.  There are a lot of church choirs in the area and I wanted a space where non religious folk were welcomed as well as church goers.   As a non church goer myself I recognise the benefits of people singing together that would traditionally have only happened at religious services and I know that many people miss that feeling of joining in.

But a friend here, who's husband died several years ago, approached me about Singmarra taking part in a musical for Easter that her husband had written more than 30 years ago.   It's called Three and Thirty Years, the life of Christ, and is a modern musical or cantata based on the Easter story.   It will be a huge amount of work and I hope my lovely singers will enjoy it - they'd all expressed an interest before the holiday, so we made a good start at our rehearsals over the past couple of weeks.  The show will last for 75 minutes and the chorus are in most numbers as commentators.  In between thinking 'this will be fun' I'm thinking what have I done!!!

This is a dramatic change for us, going from a non performing group to doing a massive project like this - I have to say I'm very excited about it though.  After an initial production meeting panic really set in, so now it's time to go step by step.

This would be  suitable show for children or for community choirs right up to professional musical organisations. Great songs, funky rhythms, and a great challenge.


  1. Hi Fil - the East West Street has a good write up in the Guardian ... but it's a heavy subject. Three Daughters of Eve has been on my radar - and this I'm sure will make a fascinating book to read ... again the Guardian has an interesting review ... Enjoy them ... if you can with

    ... Singmarra going on - lots to keep you occupied there - fascinating project, and so good your friend is allowing her husband's work to be produced ... wonderful.

    Cheers Hilary

  2. Singmarra's new project sounds exciting and daunting all at the same time. I know you'll get there with it, but make sure you get some "me" time & breathe deeply, go walking (take your camera out too & look at all sorts of things, even if you delete lots later), enjoy your reading & yarny moments to keep the stress levels low. Look forward to seeing updates on your blog so we know how it is moving along. Take care & huggles.

  3. What a great opportunity for your choir!!! I hope you have a wonderful time!

  4. I know, I looove bookshops too... I can stay hours in one, I am sure you can too! I am so excited to reading about the ready project... a lot of work, but rewarding, I am sure! If I were there, I would ask to take part in! What for a great idea, you inspired me! Hope you have a very beautiful weekend, dear Fil! Hugs!


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