We did sing!

by julie

Belmont Tower

Houston Room

8th May 2012

How does a group action provide fellowship and how does this fellowship function outside of religion. I am interested in deconstructing traditional Protestant Church services – the type I attended regularly in the past. Taking worship as my first area of interest I designed a singing workshop. This workshop was secular or non religious but focussed on the sense of fellowship that can be created by joining all our voices as one.

I introduced the workshop briefly talking about reclaiming the word fellowship, obviously the word community is problematic and fellowship definitely has religious overtones but in the interest of borrowing the strengths of religion (as suggested by Alain de Botton) I feel fellowship give more of a sense of what I am searching for and exploring with this work. Simon Critchley has recently written Faith of the faithless which I am currently reading. I would say faith has strength often from group support through congregation. It is this space of belonging and support that I hope to create for the moment of this workshop.

Anna Newell taught the workshop, she is an inspiring teacher and gently coaxed the singers out of each of the twenty participants. The participants were invited through Facebook, email and promotion on the venues Facebook also. I really had faith in the idea of getting strangers together to sing but as the time drew near I was short of the 30 participants I had hoped for. This in itself is not a problem 20 was a great number for Anna to work with and meant we got a good chance to chat over tea and cake afterwards. However it has got me thinking how do I promote these events so they reach those that are interested? I have mentioned several times about parallels I find between religion and art – both self perpetuate by “preaching to the choir” I am trying to move beyond this, I am currently planning the second event which will take place in Belmont Tower this saturday and explore the idea of giving testimonies.