Singing on Sunday – come join us!

Next singing session is on Sunday 27th October, in the Glais Hall in Swansea, from 1-5pm. Everyone welcome – children and adults alike. Please contact Fleur for directions (and attendee numbers) if you would like to come!

This choir is holding it’s rehearsals all around South Wales, to enable Baha’is and their friends to attend and to uplift the spirits by singing together. Getting to know each other as friends and being creative together as a spiritual activity is as important as the actual activity! If anyone would like to join us from outside Wales, you are most welcome too!

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Photo: First choir rehearsal in Abercarn, Gwent.

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New Direction

As you may or may not know, Kalim ‘Tangent’ Bartlett is now living in China, in the vibrant city of Chengdu in Sichuan province. Creative Voice has taken a new direction therefore, and is mainly focused on singing and writing projects. There may be a time when Kalim and I work together again, we are brother and sister after all – and both passionate about music and empowering others. But for now, we live on different continents and so are in different creative worlds.

kalim in china mid-beat

My creative voice has recently been immersed in developing my voice as a writer. I took part in Sherman Cymru’s ‘Spread the Word’ writing course, meeting other local writers and feeling inspired and uplifted by the down-to-earth approach of our tutor, Alan Harris and his wealth of experience. Both him and Sian Summers gave me some excellent feedback on the skeleton structure of the play I am working for, ‘The Child in Me’, which I need to submit by mid July. Three of our pieces will be presented as Rehearsed Readings in Sherman Cymru this summer, and of course I am hoping that mine is one of the chosen ones. However, I am not too attached to that thought, the support I have received so far from this course has been invaluable and I finally feel creatively unblocked!

On a musical and Baha’i note, my father, Viv Bartlett and I are preparing a bunch of songs to take around the Baha’i community as ‘Musical Firesides’. Dad plays the guitar (and sings harmonies) and I sing (as I think you all know!). The aim is to sing some of the Baha’i community songs from waaaay back (golden oldies) as well as pieces we have composed and more modern songs written by other Baha’i musicians. Mum is enjoying singing along with us too, and I think this cheers her up enormously as she is currently battling cancer and has less energy than she would like. Hopefully our musical gift will be well rehearsed by the end of the summer, we can have a trial run at the summer school in Wales and then  start to tour around South Wales, Bristol and maybe even further in the Autumn.

Dad, Bill and Leo

I am also developing music for the All-Wales Baha’i Choir, which began in January of this year (we sand for the first time at the Regional Festival in Llandrindod Wells) and I am excited that a few more people have agreed to join us! Regular choir (read ‘singing group’ here) sessions will start in July. Watch this space for details!

Here is a taster of one of the songs we’ll be singing. It’s called ‘Remember my Days’, the words are extracts from the Tablet of Ahmed and from the Gleanings of the writings of Baha’u’llah. The picture is from May 2011, with myself sitting just outside the shrine of Baha’u’llah. Enjoy listening on this lovely sunny evening in June.

https://soundcloud.com/creativevoice/remember-my-days

Shrine of Baha'u'llah 8 Fleur

Beat Construction

So as a beat-boxer I always have to update my material and expand my beatbox repertoire. The loop pedal I have recently purchased allows me to be more creative and dynamic with my beat-boxing and explore avenues that I never knew existed.  It fundamentally allows me to become a musician and not just someone that displays a funny gimmick.

It’s so important to find a good style in beatboxing that people can connect to, my style leans more towards entertaining people than anything else.  As a beat-boxer you can’t keep your set  the same for too long. I find it immensely inspiring and breathtaking every time I meet up with the beat-boxing community. I learn something new every time, whether it be a new technique, a new rhythm  or new sound. Musicality as well as creating diverse and exciting drum-beats and sound effects are the main ingredients for any interesting beatboxing set and I seek to progress as a musician in this regard.

Promoting my workshops

So the new school term has started and I’m hitting all the schools around Cardiff hard and fast.  In the past my workshops have had amazing feedback and kids have enjoyed themselves tremendously.  On September 20th Fleur and I are attending the Bigfoot Arts Education selection day which is at Chapter Arts Theatre in Cardiff, which offers drama, music and dance work in schools and community settings to freelance artists . This is providential because, as I said above, I’ve spent the last three weeks promoting my workshops to many schools around Cardiff. So hopefully this will be a big foot in the door for more possible work (ha ha!)

I’m going to be performing at a lot of open mic nights soon, so if you see me and like what you hear please come and support me! I’ll be in the second stage of the Open Mic 2010 competition at The Coal Exchange in Cardiff on the 24th October – so come and support me!

So I’ve got many things coming up in my Tangent life at the moment that will keep me on my toes. I’m really looking forward to be working with UCAN Productions again. It always feels like home every time I go back to UCAN. The positive, warm, kind and caring responses from the young people produces an atmosphere that I love working in. The project I’ll hopefully be involved with sounds very exciting but also on the other hand very challenging.  We will possibly be combining beat-boxing and body percussion with a full live symphony orchestra!

I’m also going to be doing lots of different things with OTT (a Club in Newport), this possibly could lead to BIGGER things but none of this is properly confirmed yet. So remember to keep your eyes peeled for possible colabs and gigs!

Peace, Beatbox Tangent 🙂

Women’s Community Singing Group

Fleur here:-

In 2009, Sherman Cymru organised a whole week of activities, workshops, performances and concerts for Refugee Week. The aim was to connect Refugees and Asylum Seekers living in Wales – from all different ages, cultures and backgrounds with people living in Wales.

The week was packed full of activities from dance workshops for young people with Earthfall to drama/theatre workshops with Robbie Bowman. The evening programe was rich and varied  – featuring internationally renowned poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, Comedienne, Shappi Khorsandi, a wonderful children’s production ‘Little Leap Forward’ and a discussion on the role of theatre in places of crisis with with Hua Dan (China), Ice and Fire (UK) and Theatre versus Oppression (working in Uganda).

We ran a Women’s Community Choir for Refugee and Welsh ladies, preparing for many weeks leading up to Refugee Week with choir leader, Rabab Ghazoul, and with myself leading the week of rehearsals and the choir at the performance at the end of the week. The choir was attended by over thirty women during the course of it’s many rehearsals – and so the Community Engagement department at Sherman Cymru decided to continue supporting the choir – renaming it a Community Singing Group – with the goal to have the weekly sessions as an activity to foster friendships and connections between refugee, asylum seeker and Welsh ladies – and generally be creative through our voices!

I was asked to lead the singing group from May 2010- and it has now gone from strength to strength with 15 women attending the last session! We used to meet at the Welsh Refugee Council, Phoenix House, Newport Road and we now meet at the YMCA (off The Parade) in Cardiff from1pm-2.30pm – and we have members from many different countries, backgrounds, abilities and ages! Some of the ladies bring their small children, who play in the creché corner, or dance around us, or sing with us also. Since October 2010 we have also included men in the singing group and so we are now a Community Singing Group open to each and all!

The singing group has become a place where people can try out a new skill, get to know each other, eat together and for the refugee men and women to feel a sense of being at home with friends, where thinking and worrying about asylum claims or the every day worries of the world can be shelved for a few hours. One regular attendee called the group ‘yoga for the brain’. I like this, as it brings a sense of peace and balance – which is the power of the creative arts.

The singing group is free of charge (supported by Sherman Cymru and the Oasis Drop-in centre) and we are still looking for members. So please contact me by email: fleur@mysinging.co.uk if you are interested in joining us! No experience is necessary – just a willingness to learn simple songs from around the world, to chat over a cuppa and make friends!

Sherman Cymru Women’s Community Singing Group – performing at the Welsh Refugee Council’s 20th birthday party at Holland House, The Mercure Hotel, Cardiff.

 

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