Bidding farewell to Shell in song

‘There is a fire in me
Burns all night and day
Flares at injustice
Leaps at oppression
Glows warmly in beauty’
(Ken Saro-Wiwa)

I made a demo of a setting I wrote of this poem:

And we sang it, along with ‘Oil-Free Festival Hall’, outside said Festival Hall, on June 8th 2014, to mark a small but significant victory in the long journey towards art and culture untainted by  fossil fuelled funding. We were small in number, and perhaps a little under-rehearsed, but there was still an undeniable power I thought in what we sang.

Farewell fire banner 8-6-14Farewell Outside 2 8-6-14

(From Shell Out Sounds’ call-out:)

‘Shell has sponsored a classical season at the Southbank Centre (SBC) for 8
years, and until recently this deal looked set to continue into the
future. Then in January this year it became clear that the 2014-15 season
would be sponsor-free: on June 8th, the Youth Orchestra of Venezuela
performed at the last Shell Classic concert.

We think it’s safe to assume that the many interventions on this issue
over the years (including ours) have played a role in this happy
development. We also think that it should be marked in celebratory style,
so we’ll be outside the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 8th from 4.30-5pm to
sing a new song, ‘Oil-Free Festival Hall?’

While Shell is still a Corporate Supporter of the SBC, we would like to give the
SBC the benefit of the doubt and think of this as the beginning of a new era of
conscious culture.

We are also going to pay tribute to Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was
executed by the Nigerian government at Shell’s behest in 1995, and to whom
we have dedicated seat K43 in the Royal Festival Hall. His poem ‘Fire’
(see above) has been set to music, and will also be part of this performance.

We’re inviting you – whatever you’re level of skill or experience – to
join us at the Calder Bookshop on June 8th to practice the two new pieces,
then to walk over to the South Bank to perform them as concertgoers head
into the RFH for the 5pm concert. Feel free to come along and support us
even if you don’t feel like singing, (but you do need to come to the
Calder if you want to sing!)

Please dress in black trousers or skirt, and fiery (i.e. red, orange or
yellow) top.

Listen to (and sing along with) the songs here:

More details: 07709 545116;

Shell Out Sounds is part of the Art Not Oil Coalition:

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