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stormsongsIn February 2014, Cornwall UK, was hit by some of the worst storms in living memory. With these fresh in the memory of coastal communities, StormSongs told the stories about how communities are affected by and can respond to extreme weather events.

ss2The project took place in Portleven, a harbour on the South coast. Cornwall has one of the richest communal singing cultures in Western Europe. Of old, fishermen invented work songs to coordinate actions in the course of fishing operations. The songs represent what is happening in the fishing trade and in society as a whole.

StormSongs engaged singing residents of Porthleven in a musical and choral exploration of the contemporary socio-environmental conditions that affect their livelihoods. Through a process of co-composition, local singers and musicians, as well as a Dutch composer and Cornish choir leader, the stories were translated into song text. This culminated in a performance for an invited audience in Porthleven on 18th April 2015.

ss3Through music and song the project set out to express and embody the issue of climate change on a local and personal level. It provided a start for creative and action-oriented dialogue between different people about how to mitigate the effects of and adapt to extreme weather.

StormSongs was a collaboration between Encounters Arts and Dutch theatre company 5e Kwartier and was lead by Natalia Eernstman and Titia Bouwmeester.

Composers: Hilary Coleman and Ben Lammerts van Bueren.

StormSongs was run in partnership with the Tandem Community and Participation, Exeter University and Porthleven Neighbourhood Plan.

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