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D15 Community Choir Project

Eight weeks of working with about 65 wonderful participants from across Dublin15.  Each weekend I went to Huntstown, Castleknock, and Parslickstown Community Centres starting 3 new community choirs.

We brought them all together again in January 2024 to sing as one big group and  had a such a great day - wish it had been longer.

Love projects like this and great to be back in Draiocht again.  Last time was with the end of the 3 year Clown Choir project back in 2015.

GhostHares poster_A3_final.jpg


lyrics -  Veronica Coburn  

music - Debra Salem

Songs of Change are the culmination of the stories and words of 18 participants over ten weeks of online workshops with Veronica Coburn in the summer of 2020.  The material was then developed by Veronica and turned into lyrics which were then turned into songs. The finished Songs of Change were performed by Irish artists and were recorded and filmed over a week at the end of August 2021 at The Civic Theatre in Tallaght, Dublin. The video for each song can be viewed online here.


Vocals from: Jess Kavanagh, Maria Kelly, Farrah Elle, Senita Appiakorang, Toshin, Siofra Nolan, Ellen Quinn Banville, Fay O'Rourke, Shiv, and Debra Salem.

Instrumentation from: James Smith, Luke Howard, Louis Younge, Sam Kileen, Joe Fiurlong and Daniel Lang.

The video for the Kickstarter Campaign to record 18 song settings of William Soutar poems with original music by Paul Harrison, Kevin Mackenzie and myself.

The Incredible Brightness of Being was a commission (2016) from Horsecross Arts Ltd and The Margaret Morris Archive to write a piece of music for dance inspired by the work of Margaret Morris. I was given an artist residency with the archive,  which resulted in  writing a piece for four vocalists  and a double bass.  The concept was inspired by the fact that Margaret Morris believed everyone could dance and I feel the same about singing. So I wanted to make a piece that used the skills of some great community choir leaders I knew - with half an eye on the fact that community choirs could sing it. The idea being that the parts in themselves were not complicated, but it was how they all worked together which was important.  The original musicians (Rachel Lightbody, Irene Railey, Karen Dietz and myself, plus Tam Hardy on bass) were all ages, musical background, heights (!!) and all female.  Each movement was also  inspired by an element of Margaret Morris's practice and a great Pathe  news reel  which gave rise to the movement names and feel of that section- such as' not swing but spring' or 'proper breathing'.   The corresponding dance piece was choreographed by Vincent Hantam and performed at Perth Concert Hall for the Margaret Morris Alive Festival.

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