Culture

#iSing4Peace A Chorus of Global Voices

Renowned Scottish singer Fiona Kennedy, accompanied by Scotland’s premier orchestra the RSNO, is to lead a chorus of singers from across the world, in a virtual collaboration which will become a charity single.

Scottish singer, song-writer and broadcaster Fiona Kennedy sings “Stronger for the Storm”, a new international song of peace, on the clifftop overlooking Dunnottar Castle on the Aberdeenshire coast, at the launch of iSing4Peace on the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which brought an official end to the First World War and restored peace to the world. Photo credit : Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Singers of all abilities worldwide are invited to submit their own contribution to the iSing4Peace initiative, developed at the University of Aberdeen, which aims to bring choirs together at a time when performing is severely constrained.

Fiona Kennedy, royal composer Paul Mealor and lyricist Grahame Davies have created a brand-new piece of music, Stronger for the Storm.

She will lead a chorus of global voices with each singer or ensemble submitting their own contribution online. These will then be crafted into a charity single by Calum Malcolm, who has also produced albums for Mark Knopfler, Simple Minds, Big Country and The Blue Nile.

iSing4Peace was initiated by the University of Aberdeen’s Neil McLennan as a new form of commemoration.  The charity single will be released to coincide with Remembrance Sunday – raising funds to support the Red Cross, The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL), VSA and the University of Aberdeen’s Development Trust.

Fiona Kennedy said:

“My hope is that this new, beautiful song will bring many people from all over the world together with a common purpose during these continuing challenging times.

“We’d love solo singers, choirs and ensembles to bring their own unique magic to #ising4peace and raise as much as we can for the four charities.

“We all know the world is in turmoil just now and charities are really suffering with the postponing and cancelling of fundraising events – this is one way we can all get behind these wonderful organisations by taking part, regardless of musical ability. Please join us wherever you are and give it a go!”

Paul Mealor, a professor in composition at The University of Aberdeen added:

“This is an incredible project. Everyone involved has given of their time freely and ‘virtually’! The writing, the singing and the playing have all been done from everyone’s own home.

“I’ve never been involved in something like this before and didn’t know what to expect; but, you know, it’s been wonderful. Everyone has been so engaging and enthusiastic. And, a wonderful song and recording has already been born.

“Now, we ask everyone who wants to and can do, to add their voices to our own, and truly make a song for peace which ‘sings’ in every language, on every instrument, and from every home through the universal language of music.”

How to contribute

Singers can add their voices to Stronger for the Storm either as individuals or can submit their performances as part of a choir, group or ensemble.  Musicians are also invited to perform and record the work on their own instruments.

All contributions will support the four nominated charities through the small charge for the sheet music and many of the submissions will feature in the charity single which will raise further funds for the causes.

A link for uploading contributions to feature in the charity single will be live at https://www.abdn.ac.uk/stories/iSing4Peace/  between September 21 and October 11.

Mr McLennan said:

“Paul Mealor, Graeme Davis and Fiona Kennedy have collaborated to create a beautiful new piece of music which will be not only an emotive addition to Remembrance commemorations but which can play an important role in bringing people around the world together when Covid-19 has put so many barriers in place for musicians and singers.

“This is an amazing opportunity for singers of all abilities to add their voices to a track featuring  the wonderful Fiona Kennedy who is accompanied by some of Scotland’s most talented musicians including the RSNO, Thoren Ferguson on fiddle, Calum MacColl and Nils Elders on guitar. It is not something that you’d normally be able to achieve from the comfort of your own living room!”

A Just Giving page has been set up at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/iSing4Peace

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