What exactly is the zeitgeist? The 'spirit of the time' is something that must by definition be experienced differently by everyone, depending on mood, money, football results and so on. Bringing together a definitive London zeitgeist we can all agree with is a new collaborative music project called Snapshot Songs.
Masterminded by award-winning composer Stuart Hancock, Snapshot Songs involves over 150 singers, musicians and poets coming together to create and perform a collection of Londony songs composed especially for the project. Workshops and auditions have been taking place over the past few months to select members of the Snapshot Songs choir, who you can meet in all their glory here.
The upshot of all this singing is that there will be two performances of Snapshot Songs taking place next month at the Guildhall School’s new Milton Court Concert Hall, close to the Barbican. The performances will see the songs laid out in a song-cycle style, performed in sequence as a single event on each of the two nights (13-14 April).
According to the organisers:
Some of the songs have been created in collaboration with London-based charities tackling issues faced by many in the capital, while others include poems set to music by young poets from the East End, and one even uses the tweets of the late Ivy Bean (104 years old) as its lyrics. All this will be sung by one of the most diverse choirs ever assembled, made up of everyone from ex-offenders to City workers and even an international rugby player, and featuring all ages from 12-year-olds to octogenarians.
In the process of putting together the choir the organisers discovered there are many other singing opportunities to take part in across the city, with groups such as the East London Chorus, Hackney Singers, Highgate Choral Society and Hoxton Singers keen to recruit new members. And if you're not sure your voice is quite up to scratch, check out our handy guide to where to learn to sing in London.
Snapshot Songs takes place at the Milton Court Concert Hall on 13 and 14 April. Tickets are available from the Barbican website.