Got an email, late on Monday – a week ago today – from Kate Bond, a journalist who works a lot with Unicef and Unesco, saying she and music producer Luke Smith of Flesh and Bone Studios were trying to put together, at short notice, a version of John Lennon’s 1971 song Happy Christmas the War is Over – to be sung by a chorus of refugees and asylum seekers.
Of course, with a studio date less than five days away, the task seemed impossible, but with the help, support and encouragement of the the Sanctuary Voices regs, Tori Longdon, Isabella Fletcher and Nav Arles, not to mention Chris and Andy at the Islington Centre, Bethan and Emma at Praxis and Simin and Jasmina at Refugee Women’s Association, we got a choir together and recorded the piece on Saturday December 12th on the nail.
Neither Tori, Isabella, Nav or Grace could lead the choir at such short notice but step into the breach with style and professionalism: Romain Malan, colleague of Isabella and ex-student of Chrissie Tiller on the Goldsmiths MA.
And it wasn’t only Romain; everybody did a fabulous job. Luke was great in studio, calm and encouraging, food was provided, travel expenses covered, a great film crew assembled and everyone left on a high.
A storyboard is now being finalised and, on Friday December 18th, hopefully, we release.
The most special mention has to go to the singers, though. It was they who found the time and the voice and the love to make this happen. In that we are the most blessed.