In November and December 2014 we ran two day-long workshops with composer James Redwood. These were open to anyone in the city who wanted to come along and join in. We spent the first day getting to know each other and sharing ideas, thoughts, feelings and impressions of the city, before settling down to write some lyrics that we felt summed up our experiences of living in Leeds. The material we created was quite diverse – quirky, poetic and sometimes slightly sinister. By the end of the first day, we felt we had the basis for three different songs.
The following week, we worked with James to set the songs to music. James led us in a series of warm-ups, which got us on our feet and singing together and then helped us to find our way into the songs, deciding on a tone and mood for each one, pulling out melodies and rhythms from the group and shaping the resultant material. He then took the pieces away with him to polish up and score.
From February 2015 onwards we worked with Caroline Challis, a vocal animateur to bring the songs to life, together with a choir of people from around the city. We sang the songs on the opening day of the Leeds Labyrinth (Map 8) and repeated the performance a few weeks later.
156) 5th June
Bus-route Superstar: The girl on the bus with the long brown hair strums her guitar and sings with joyful abandon – the No 1 to Beeston.