Singing Our Lives

Design Studio

Silk painting is fun, easy to learn and very visual.  Singing Our Lives saw the potential to involve 250 diverse choir members in making a new backdrop for their performance and learn a creative skill in the process.

The participants all received a taster session to learn the technique of batik, as well as tips on designing for silk painting.  Further sessions took place to scale up the final design and paint the silk, working with the choir members in groups.

Kinetika worked with the participants to curate the final design, with each person contributing their own individual piece to create the whole, which is a spectacular mandala pattern.

Singing Our Lives is a ground-breaking project that celebrates diversity, solidarity and inclusion bringing together refugee, migrant and local communities to create new music and perform with professional musicians. The project, developed by Together Productions, is supported by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

Project partners include the Royal Opera House, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the International Organization for Migration.  This project was made possible by funding from Arts Council England and National Lottery Awards for All.

Photo credits are Joe Bloom, Ali Pretty and Mike Johnston.

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Singing our Lives mandala backdrop with Kinetika project staff

It has been a real pleasure to visit all the choirs and hear stories of the members and what being in the choir means to them.

The design process has enabled people to share these stories, bringing them closer to each other, across very different backgrounds.

Ali Pretty, Artistic Director, Kinetika

Singing our Lives backdrop

“The project has brought together thousands of people as audience and participants to perform and create new lyrics and music and also to bring refugee and asylum seeker musicians and artists together with local residents to build social bonds through shared creative endeavour.

This year, thanks to Kinetika, we are adding an exciting design element to the process which will enable us to truly create a cross-arts multi-disciplinary approach that will make the process even richer and more fulfilling.

We are excited to see the results of this new musical and artistic partnership!

Jeremy Haneman, Musical Director of Singing Our Lives