Our values, like the values of the artform, are centred around collaboration, deep listening, mutual respect, authenticity, and human to human connection. These qualities are embedded in the way that we endeavour to work together as a team and also encompass the core values of our festival retreat.
As a community, we have found that vocal improvisation can offer a home for people who perhaps have previously found music and singing practices stifling, inaccessible, or ‘not for them’. One of the most beautiful aspects of this practice is that it embraces all musical backgrounds, there are no specifications of genre, and there are many different entry points; all that is needed is a willingness and curiosity to dive in. We believe that this is a space for everyone with the passion and curiosity to explore it!
With this in mind, we are keen to be as inclusive and accessible as we can be, and we recognise that there may be barriers preventing people from joining us. We are aware of the responsibility and opportunity that this festival retreat brings for meaningful shaping of our community and opening doors to those who may otherwise struggle to come on in. We want to support you! For us, this is an ongoing conversation and investigation, and we are constantly finding and questioning our blind spots, and consciously considering how to re-address balance in representation.
So, we want to shout from the rooftops that we welcome people who might have lived experience of feeling ‘othered’; through gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic background, or who identify as neurodivergent. Please get in touch and let us know if there is anything we can do for you to make this experience as rich and welcoming as possible.
The Thinking Behind Our Bursaries
This year, we are able to offer two bursary tickets: one for someone who identifies as disabled and one for a person from the Global Majority. In both cases, we would like to prioritise full-time independent artists or music/community facilitators, as we are aware what a challenging time the last two years has been for people working in this field.
We recognise that disability is extremely diverse and that disabled people can encounter a range of barriers to accessing opportunities, including attitudinal, physical, or communication barriers*. We understand that some of the past settings in which vocal improvisation was practised were not accessible and would thus like to offer one of our bursary tickets to someone who identifies in any way as disabled.
*We follow the social model of disability, which holds that a person isn’t 'disabled' because of their impairment, health condition, or the ways in which they may differ from what is commonly considered the medical 'norm'; rather it is the physical and attitudinal barriers in society – prejudice, lack of access adjustments and systemic exclusion – that disable people. This might include Visual impairment, Hearing impairment / d/Deaf, Cognitive or learning disabilities, Mental health condition, Invisible disabilities, Long term / chronic condition or other.
Global Majority Bursary
In the words of Rosemary Campbell-Stephens:
“Global Majority is a collective term that first and foremost speaks to and encourages those so-called to think of themselves as belonging to the global majority. It refers to people who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or have been racialised as 'ethnic minorities'.”
We are committed to acknowledging systemic injustice across the board in the UK and globally and want to be part of the fight to improve access to this art form. We would love to see more singers who identify with this term represented in the UK vocal improv world.
If you would like to apply for one of the above bursary tickets, please apply using the ticket registration form here. We wish we could bring you all in, but for now we can offer these two tickets at a reduced price of £350. We are already thinking ahead to future years where we hope to be able to offer even more bursary tickets. Do get in touch with any questions or suggestions, we welcome your thoughts to help us grow this together.