Finding Harmony is the name for the mission we have, to use our art form – singing – as a tool to find unity in a world which is more divided than it has been for a long time.
With the end of The King’s Singers’ fiftieth anniversary season in 2018, and the launch of the USA arm of our charity (The King’s Singers Global Foundation), we wanted to distill what it was that really motivated us to do what we do, and to do it well. Finding Harmony was the answer, as in so many different ways, it summarises what is most valuable in what we do. From late 2019 and beyond, Finding Harmony will lie at the heart of what our activities — from our artistic plans and programming, through specific projects planned through our charities, to educational work and commissioning. The idea of finding harmony will lie at the centre. In reality, it always has done, but right now more than ever, it feels like we should talk about it.
In the strictly musical sense, we find harmony every day — by creating the most beautiful sounds we can as a group, through hard work, team effort, and the ability to find compromise. We share this craft we’ve inherited around the world when we give workshops, summer schools, and meet choirs on the road. We help these groups to find harmony and elevate their music-making to the best it can be. But the coming years we want to maximise our educational reach, and work harder than ever to share our craft with singers all over the world, particularly those who don’t get much access to coaching and support.
Secondly, it has always been in The King’s Singers’ blood to find harmony between styles and art-forms. From the earliest days of the group, genre hasn’t been allowed to bind or define the group. In our concerts, music of many styles sits side by side; our recordings range from the sublime to the decidedly ridiculous, and hopefully cater for everyone no matter their taste. Increasingly, we want to counteract artistic boundaries and collaborate with artists of all kinds, all over the world, finding harmony between musical cultures, art-forms and genres.
Our world today
Thirdly, the particular geopolitical environment of the last few years has encouraged us to think about the real power that music can have in a world where polarised and tribalised societies, whose views of the world seem like they cannot be reconciled, find it almost impossible to communicate civilly. Through the global changes of the last few years, we have continued touring the world, singing in many of the countries that find themselves at odds with one another, or otherwise bitterly divided internally. We found that whether in Beijing, Washington, Paris, London, Moscow, Seoul or Toronto, singing in harmony seemed to bring warmth and joy to people of all political views and social backgrounds. Singing isn’t the territory of any one person, place or idea; it’s a language that can be spoken by anyone, and we believe that the combination of multiple voices in harmony, to create something more beautiful than the sum of its parts, could be an effective tool in helping people learn to talk to each other again.
We don’t want Finding Harmony to be just an album, or a concert programme, or a film. In an ideal world, it may well be all of those things, but for us it’s our mission. One small way in which we hope to encourage unity through the extraordinary power of music.
Find out more about The King’s Singers Global Foundation
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