Film premiere for lockdown musical featuring 130 global voices

Clips from the film The Distance Between Us created by 130 members of the Voice Project

Clips from the film The Distance Between Us created by 130 members of the Voice Project - Credit: Nathan Clarke

The talents of 130 people brought together virtually from across the world in lockdown by two Norwich musicians will be showcased at a city premiere.

The Distance Between Us - a 35-minute long film featuring 10 songs, poetry and movement - was the brainchild of Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker who started the Voice Project in 2008.

Before lockdown the open-access choir rehearsed in the city, took on annual artistic projects and put on regular performances across Norfolk.

But after Covid restrictions the choir had to think differently and through rehearsing online in the autumn and winter months of 2020, as well as sending in artistic films, The Distance Between Us was born.

the voice project will be taking audiences on a musical journey through areas of city hall for the c

Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker, co-directors of the Voice Project - Credit: Joe Newman

Ms Croose, 57, a singer, composer and performance maker, described going into lockdown as "the great unknown".

She said:  "We thought we could create a collective diary showing how we spent that time. It shows the contrast of isolation and keeping the choir going. We could bring people together from all over the world."

Choir members included people from across Norfolk and Suffolk, Brighton, Ireland, Spain and even three sisters from Devon, Richmond, in Virginia, and Cape Town.

A snapshot of an online Zoom rehearsal showing members of the Voice Project

A snapshot of an online Zoom rehearsal showing members of the Voice Project - Credit: Nathan Clarke

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Not only did the project allow people to learn new technological skills, but the Ms Croose said the choir became a lifeline.

"Singing gives you a break from what you are feeling anxious about.

"The Distance Between Us is an impressionistic piece. It is a chronicle of an unusual time. It is amazing to convey the experiences during the last year or so. We are proud.

"We are amazed at how the choir kept a sense of community event through they were not meeting physically," she added.

The Voice Project during one of its previous performances before lockdown

The Voice Project during one of its previous performances before lockdown - Credit: JMA Photography

The choir, which includes a quintet of professional singers, will return to in-person rehearsals in January but it will keep the online aspect.

Ruth Katra, from St Georges Street, Norwich, who has been in the Voice Project for seven years, said: "The project gave me focus. My husband died last year and I was in a dark place. The virtual choir was like being able to see my friends. It helped me no end."

The film is being shown at Norwich Arts Centre on October 27 at 6pm, 7.15pm and 8.30pm.

Visit https://norwichartscentre.co.uk/event/the-distance-between-us-film-screening and www.voiceproject.co.uk




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