It's amazing how songs have the power to transcend time and space - there have been a few moments this week when we've been struck by how the simple act of singing together can make and sustain profound connections between people, and how songs' meanings' can change, grow and evolve over time with the people who sing them.
We've been truly blessed to have had the immense pleasure of working with Helen Chadwick and the rest of Human Music over the years, and it never ceases to amaze us how Helen's compositions can touch people's hearts. Last night, we taught a group of Brazilian teachers her arrangement of 'If we shadows have offended' (from A Midsummer Night's Dream) and it was as intensely moving as when we first sang it in the new RSC theatre building in Stratford quite a few years ago now. People in the workshop said they felt the experience was transcendental, you can see what they mean here.
Today we were teaching the Guri Santa Marcelina youth choir Helen's song 'Here' which Helen wrote for Dalston Songs, the show that Dave was in with her in 2008 and 2010. The words of Helen's Dalston neighbours, which she so eloquently immortalised in song, rang just as powerfully with this group of teenagers in urban Brazil as they did for the Royal Opera House audiences who first heard it: "Home is a feeling, it's not a place - for me. They ask me, 'where do you come from? Where is home?' I say, 'I come from here.'"
Singing together has the power to turn every 'here' into a 'home', and we pay tribute to the great composers like Helen, who can capture the power and potential of what music can do, and distill it into an essence which feeds the soul. Thank you Helen! x