‘Songs of Ourselves’ was one of the recipient projects of the 2021 Arts in Education Portal Documentation Award, the aim of which is to support the development of documented outcomes from arts in education initiatives in Ireland. The award is part of the Arts in Education Portal Editorial Committee’s commitment to supporting and recognising the value of documentation and reflection as a key component within arts in education initiatives.
From November 2020 to June 2021, George Higgs was The Dock Composer in Residence at Scoil Mhuire, Carrick on Shannon for the project ‘Songs of Ourselves’, exploring communal song forms – e.g., work songs, anthems, canons, and call and response – with the ultimate aim of creating a new composition. Based on his earlier investigations into multisensory composition (The Sense Ensemble, 2017), George asked the students to think of a song not only as sound, but as a participatory activity for all the senses. Students were encouraged to invent gestures to accompany the performance of each song and draw pictures to reflect on the various themes. A Song Scrapbook was amassed from all the sessions, featuring the finished multisensory lyric ‘The Dream of the Knockabock’.
‘The Dream of the Knockabock’ was performed at The Dock in early June, 2022 by the Scoil Mhuire Choir and the Millennium Choir. The song was a twelve-minute ‘mobile composition for multisensory voices’ created was a rich pageant of sound, movement and was a spatial performance to remember.
It was a special event for all involved and a great achievement.
View the performance below
View here the Documentation Award Series Discussion ‘Songs of Ourselves’ with composer George Higgs, teacher Noelle Igoe and The Dock’s Visual Arts and Education Manager, Laura Mahon as part of the 2021 National Arts in Education Portal Virtual Conference.