Improv singing workshop 'Sounds of STEAM'
On the evening of Wednesday 27th January we invited singers from a number of Cambridge choirs and from the local area to join us for a free workshop at St. Philip’s Church on Mill Road, led by Mario Satchwell and Tizzy Faller, to explore the sounds and stories of Cambridge’s Industrial Social History, alongside Helen Weinstein and Jon Calver of Historyworks. Individuals of all ages were encouraged to join us and we had both children from local children’s choir ‘Shout Aloud!’ and adult choirs ‘Resound’ and ‘Sing! Community Choir’ join us for this unique and rather intriguing workshop!
We encouraged everyone to explore different sounds that they could make with their voices to mimic the noises of the various steam and gas engines in the Victorian pumping station, as well as experimenting with a variety of ways of saying phrases from the pumping station’s instruction manual. There was a real sense of playfulness in the room as we all experimented with our voices, creating different pitches, speeds and sounds, and everyone seemed to be having lots of fun in the process!
The singers also had the opportunity to sing a number of the ‘Singing History’ songs by CBBCs Horrible Histories writer Dave Cohen, which have been commissioned for the project, including ‘Eglantyne Jebb’- a song all about a courageous woman who strove to improve living conditions for the poor in Cambridge and is famous for founding the charity Save the Children and ‘And Did Those Wees’ – which was sung to the tune of Jerusalem, about the terrible sanitary conditions in Victorian times and caused a few giggles!
The recordings were then edited and woven into soundscapes by sound-designer Jon Calver to be used as sound installations at this year’s “Twilight at the Museums” at the Cambridge Museum of Technology on 17th February, a free family-friendly event for all ages.