Arc of the Sky is a site responsive piece inspired by the idea of a bird's-eye view of Holy Trinity Church, in Blythburgh, Norfolk (widely known as the Cathedral of the Marshes), the surrounding landscape, Blyth estuary and coastline.
The concept transfers well to St Andrew's Church which is often referred to as the Cathedral of the South Downs.
The project first began in 2020, but lockdown caused its postponement. Co-directors Jonathan Baker
and Sian Croose
created an acclaimed film instead (which can be viewed free at www.voiceproject.co.uk
) but now the 100 voice choir are revisiting the project to create a new live piece
that includes songs, sounds and images from the film. The choir has been rehearsing in Brighton since March.
Sussex resident Orlando Gough is a long-term Voice Project collaborator.
For Arc of the Sky, he has created a suite of pieces for choir and soloists called Skylarks which sets to music the words of poets, from the 17th century Japanese master of haiku poetry, Basho, to George Meredith and Percy Shelley.
These miniature pieces celebrate the skylark's song and the human elation at hearing it.
Orlando has written widely for opera, dance, theatre and film internationally.
Other pieces have been written by Jon Baker and Sian Croose with texts by British and American poets.
Sian Croose said:
"It's so good to be able to return to live performance. It seems so long since we were last able to do so. Live shows are the lifeblood of music.
"Although based in Norwich we have a strong relationship with Sussex and our Brighton based choir also made significant contributions to the film."
The Voice Project
are renowned for their innovative approach
to choral performance, with specially composed music, poetry and choreography coming together to give audiences a unique, uplifting experience.
Many in Suffolk may recall Arms of Sleep, an overnight event commissioned for the 2017 Brighton International Festival.
Arc of the Sky includes elements of promenade performance where audience members are invited to walk with the choir.
"We don't want to exclude anyone," explained Jonathan Baker.
"So if anyone has any access/mobility issues they can let us know at the time of booking.
"We also want to reassure anyone with reservations about attending mass events that we shall be practicing social distancing and that indoor spaces will be well ventilated."
The Arc of the Sky by The Voice Project Choir at St Andrew's Church, The Tye, Alfriston, on Saturday 11th June 2022. Tickets £15, £12.50, £10 available from www.voiceproject.co.uk