|London Vocal Project
Photo: Karen Hatch
The Many Voices of Eve is a much-welcomed collaboration between The London Vocal Project and The Printmakers, and will comprise a concert at Kings Place on 16 June, with a preceding ‘pop-up’ gig and a workshop. LVP’s musical director Pete Churchill explains all:
When, after the success of our Miles Ahead and 10th Anniversary concerts, the good people at Kings Place asked to meet The London Vocal Project and to discuss some ideas about what the next project might be, we all decided we would love to collaborate with The Printmakers. In reality, such is the nature of the U.K. Jazz scene that past musical endeavours have resulted in us both collaborating in all but name (our Mirrors album had involved most of The Printmakers) and it seemed like a natural and long overdue pairing.
We were then asked to decide what the title of such a concert might be – what we might like to celebrate. It seemed obvious to us that, with The Printmakers being led by Nikki Iles and Norma Winstone and with the current soprano and alto sections of LVP (not to mention numerous ‘alumni’) representing the best of the emerging and established jazz artists in this country, we had much to celebrate!
|Norma Winstone and Nikki Iles
And so the theme of the concert was decided: The Many Voices of Eve, a celebration of the deep and lasting contribution of women to this music that we all dedicate so much of our lives to. And it made sense to schedule it as an extension of the fantastic Venus Unwrapped festival that is currently happening at Kings Place.
We felt that it was important to have new music in the concert – to celebrate the collaboration – and so we commissioned two pieces from Nikki Iles which will be premiered on 16 June. The first is a stunning setting of an incredible poem by Edna St.Vincent Millay called What Lips my Lips have Kissed… and the second is an original tune of Nikki’s with new words by Norma called Moontide.
Building on this we have added three settings of Stevie Smith poems (one of the greatest of our 20th century female poets) selected from our Mirrors album with Norma and Kenny Wheeler. By adding to this an arrangement of Westerly, another Nikki Iles/Norma Winstone collaboration – with a lyric inspired by an Annie Proulx short story – it became clear that the evening was as much a celebration of women in literature as women in jazz!
Pre-concert ‘pop-up’ gig:
Many members of LVP are steeped in the music of the great singer/songwriters and it seemed a shame not to celebrate this as well. To this end we devised a short accapella session in the atrium at the bottom of the escalator (great acoustic) before the concert. One of our basses, Brendan Dowse, has been hard at work and we will be premiering five of his newly-minted arrangements of classic songs by Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Cyndi Lauper & Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks. Add to this a couple already in our repertoire by Carole King and Beth Nielsen Chapman and those who are sensible enough to get there by 7pm will be in for a treat!
If you decide to make a whole afternoon and evening of it then you should definitely sign up for the workshop that is happening at 2pm in Hall Two. LVP have a very special way of working – their approach to rehearsing informs their sound and influences their blend. This workshop is a chance to become part of that for a while. Furthermore, participation here is sure to add to your appreciation of the concerts that follow… come and be part of the LVP experience!
On Sunday 16 June, 8pm at Kings Place in Hall One, a long-awaited collaboration between these two significant ensembles is to take place and it promises to be a memorable meeting indeed.