During January the mental health charity Rochdale Mind and Wellbeing, and some of the people who use their services got together with Camerata musicians Rebecca Thompson, Suzanne Bareau, James Swainson and Barabara Grunthal, and composer Nina Whiteman to create a new song cycle with a string quartet accompaniment.
Reflections on their lives in and around Rochdale formed the basis for the lyrics; the group then explored a variety of different sound worlds and structures and created graphic scores for their new songs; after refining their compositions and deciding on a running order, they spent a further session rehearsing with the Camerata musicians. The results of their new compositional and song writing skills were then presented at a celebratory concert at St Andrew's Church in Rochdale.
The project unearthed some amazingly talented individuals, who worked alongside the more experienced musicians in the group, and together gained new inspiration and a platform on which to present their work.
Here are some of the lyrics that were part of the finished song cycle: