City of Beacons: Join the choir
- Bristol Beacon News
- City of Beacons
As part of our City of Beacons programme, Bristol-based music and sound artist Amber-Ruth Watson is looking for women and non-binary people with hidden disabilities to join her City of Beacons Choir.
Amber-Ruth is one of four multidisciplinary artists commissioned to facilitate and co-create new artistic work with different community groups from across Bristol. The projects will then be showcased on Sat 2 Dec at Bristol Beacon, with performances as part of The Housewarming.
About the project
“As a vocalist and songwriter with ADHD and access needs, I’ve come across difficulties and barriers in the music industry and think it’s important that these untold stories are highlighted in order to make the changes we need to create inclusive and accessible spaces that empower and support people.
I’ve chosen to work with women and non-binary people with hidden disabilities. My thinking is that we will together create some vocal pieces that explore the experiences of people with hidden disabilities in music venues, whether that’s as performers, crew or audience members, and how gender may play a role in this too.
However, I would like the sessions to be guided by all participating and am flexible in where they end up going.”
– Amber-Ruth Watson, Artistic Lead
Who we are looking for
This opportunity is for people who:
- identify as female or non-binary
- have a hidden disability (eg, neurodivergent, blind)
- live in Bristol (or near to Bristol)
- want to participate in at least one sharing session
- want to be part of a choir and perform at Bristol Beacon
- have any level of singing ability.
- want to be part of creating a welcoming, supportive and open space for everyone to bring their full authentic selves
There is no need to prove disability and we will not ask any invasive questions.
Amber-Ruth and Bristol Beacon care about diversity in all its forms. The intention is for this to be a diverse group within its limitations of women and non-binary people with hidden disabilities.
In 2022 UK Music produced a Music Diversity report that found a decrease in the total number of employees from ethnically diverse communities at all levels. People of colour, and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are disproportionately underrepresented in the UK music industry.
Those who apply to take part in the City of Beacons Choir and are from a lower socio-economic background, or identify as a person of colour, will be given priority to spaces in this group.
What Amber-Ruth will bring to this project
- Honesty about her own access needs and experiences.
- A calm and comfortable space for sharing and lyric writing – think cushions, blankets, fidget toys, breathing exercises.
- An approach to help everyone feel confident and ready for the performance.
- Her skills as a musician and vocalist. Amber-Ruth is not a therapist or someone who is able to make instant changes to the industry.
- Ensure that everyone is heard in the way they want to be, but not pressed to share more than they want to.
July & Aug – Sharing sessions
- Expressing thoughts and experiences
- Lyric writing
- Experimentation with vocal sounds and melodies
- Choir members don’t have to come to all of the sessions
- The group is very flexible and we’re open to lots of ways you can share
- Sessions will take place in July/August – exact dates TBC.
Aug & Sep – Arranging
- Amber-Ruth will collate contributions from the sharing sessions
- She will arrange the contributions into a piece(s) with different vocal parts.
September, October & November – Rehearsing
- A series of choir rehearsals led by Amber-Ruth
December – Performance
- The choir will perform as part of Bristol Beacon’s reopening weekend at The Housewarming
- Saturday 2nd December, exact time TBC.
There’s potential for this project to continue beyond the performance at Bristol Beacon. Amber-Ruth is keen to allow it to take the shape everyone would like it to and to support with that. For now though, the plan for this project is outlined above.
Due to the sensitive nature of the work and wanting to be able to hold the space appropriately, there will be a cap of around 15 people in each sharing session, but more people can be in the choir.
Register your interest
Deadline: Sunday 16 July 2023
Apply by form
Complete a short application form that asks questions about yourself, your music interests and your availability.
Apply by audio
View the questions in the online form.
Send an audio file with your answers to the questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply by email
View the questions in the online form.
Email Amber-Ruth email@example.com and she will organise a chat where you can answer the questions. Or discuss an application method that works for you.