In autumn 2020, 60 people took part in 12 online creative workshops led by composer Hannah Conway and writer Hazel Gould. We were joined by members of Shout at Cancer choir, Sing for Joy choirs, Skylark Choirs, and the MND Association, including people affected by Parkinson’s disease, Motor Neurone Disease and laryngectomy, as well as their close friends and family. We were also joined by healthcare professionals, biomedical researchers, technologists, student singers and members of the team at Atos Medical – all people connected to exploring the voice from different perspectives, but that might not otherwise meet together in the same space. People took part from all over the world, including England, Scotland, Sweden, the USA and Ghana.
The sessions explored the voice and how it relates to our identity, using creativity as a catalyst for in depth discussion, creative writing, and music making, and to encourage self-expression and shared understanding.
The outcomes of these joint explorations and collaborative creative activity will be translated into powerful new works of opera and installation [hyperlink to our work page], shared online and performed live at Snape Maltings, Britten Pears Arts, and the Bloomsbury Theatre , UCL in summer 2021.
The healthcare professional, researchers and technologists involved also take back their experience into their professional practice.
Here’s what people taking part had to say about their experience:
- It’s been an emotional journey and an uplifting experience to participate in this workshop.
- I just want to say I have been incredibly moved by your project. The people I’ve met are truly inspiring and has really informed my research.
- Your creativity and innovation in drawing out the thoughts and emotions of us as participants was remarkable.
- When you join a session you realise that this is completely transformative, and completely re-changing the way I think about science.
- Hannah and Hazel are terrific at encouraging those who rarely speak to do so and be heard. Their creativity and ability to turn our random thoughts into poetry and song is inspiring and amazing.