Sound Ensemble

Pictured: Group in rehearsal at NCBI Iona Centre

Wake Up Songs is a song initiative by NCBI service users and staff directed by George Higgs in collaboration with artist Siobhán Clancy.   This project featured in the 2010 programme for Sculpture in Context at the National Botanic Gardens as a live performance and an installation.
Wake up Songs was supported by CDVEC.

Narrated video documentary of Wake Up Songs Performance

Photo Slideshow from Wake Up Songs

To download a screen friendly version of the press release for Wake Up Songs click Press Release_Wake Up Songs


Description of the Project Process

Wake Up Songs emerged from an opportunity to facilitate a Summer project at the NCBI Iona Centre.  In an ongoing aim to expand on the arts programme at the centre,  a song project was proposed by the artist-in-residence.

George Higgs was invited on board to direct a musical ensemble of staff and service users in the devising of an original song.   The proposal was submitted for inclusion in the annual Sculpture in Context exhibition at The National Botanic Gardens.  The performance of the song would be performed at the open evening of the exhibition in the Curvilinear Glasshouse, an ideal acoustic space for a soundwork.

The performance content was formed in the first workshops which included an original composition by George inspired by free voice work, word association and group brainstorms.  Rehearsals ran for several weeks.  A notable part of the experience was the common ground shared by all involved, none of whom had any formal musical experience. Thus, whether sighted or vision impaired, staff or service user, the participants worked in an atmosphere of equality and inclusion and developed an immense support in preparation for the big performance.

The event itself was well attended and well received by the audience.

Pictured: Staff member at Wake Up Songs sound installation

Pictured: NCBI staff member at Wake Up Songs sound installation

A prior recording of the performance was played on a loop in the glasshouse for the duration of Sculpture in Context 2010, installed in a small feature by Siobhán Clancy.