Tuesday 23rd March 2021
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A nationwide project, A Song for Us commissions leading music creators across genres to write new songs inspired by the people of their county. This Is The Kit & Bucky (Bristol), Gavin Bryars (East Riding), Seth Lakeman (Devon), Skinny Pelembe (South Yorkshire) and Gwenno (Cornwall) have written the first in a series of County Songs. Performed by local ensembles, these first commissions are live now. They’ll be available to view on the site for 12 months.
These commissioned songs form part of a growing music map of the country to mark this challenging time. You are invited to share a favourite song that holds special meaning from this period on asongforus.org. Budding songsmiths anywhere are also invited to create and upload original songs that capture their experience of the pandemic. Since the map’s launch, on 25 January, over 190 people from Penzance to Glasgow have shared songs ranging from Soul II Soul’s Back to Life to Aqualung by Jethro Tull. An incredible array of original songs have also been shared, including young people inspired by nature and the power of music to make us smile.
A Song for Us recognises the positive role community choirs and ensembles play in keeping people connected. The commissioned songs have been written for and performed by one, or a collective of local choirs or ensembles. Originally planned to be performed and recorded live, lockdown 3 has meant each song will now be performed and recorded remotely and edited together as a video montage. A poignant snapshot of where we are as a nation. Live performances of the songs will take place as soon as restrictions allow. Each A Song for Us commission will be streamed online for up to 12 months.
Welsh-Cornish singer-songwriter Gwenno was inspired by the many stories she collected about people’s lived experience in Cornwall over the past year. She wanted to capture the hope and pain that people have felt, along with the gratitude for the incredible work that NHS staff, carers, teachers, key workers and volunteers are doing. The song is written in Kernewek (Cornish), a language that sounds wonderful when sung as a group.