Sea shanties and coastal music

04 August 2016

People in Kessingland are bringing history to life as they learn about the musical heritage of the area through a new project.

The project was started by a group of people from Waveney interested in learning about the traditional music of the fishing community, with the help of local organisation Voice cLoud.

Following three successful open evenings and popular taster sessions, Voice cLoud applied to People’s Health Trust for funding.

People’s Health Trust has invested £30,577 in Sea Shanties and Coastal Music of East Anglia, using money raised by HealthIntend through The Health Lottery.

During the fortnightly sessions, members are taught songs that were sung by seafaring communities along the Suffolk coast. These include music from sea shanties, the fishing trade, the naval and whaling and smuggling songs.

They also sing sacred and superstitious songs while exploring the social and historical context of how maritime and nautical songs were sung in their original setting, as well as looking at where and why they were sung and any local connections.

Sessions are led by local historians, musicians and volunteers and are open to absolute beginners and experienced singers.

After each session there is social time for people to write new material in the style of older songs.

Director of the Voice cLoud, Paul Amer, said: “This project is an opportunity to celebrate living history and the cultural heritage of music, sea shanties, maritime music and folk songs from the Waveney and Suffolk coast.

 “All ages are welcome - if you would like to come along; singing ability does not matter.

“We are keen for the sessions to be completely accessible and inclusive for anybody who has an interest in learning about the songs or the tradition of sea songs and sea shanties.”

Sessions are based at The Seagull Theatre, in Lowestoft on alternate Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm.

To book a place, email [email protected] or call 07909 510 976. Children are welcome to attend if accompanied by an adult.

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