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Choir as Method. Musarc Folk Meet on a Midsummer Day Until Dusk V. St Paul’s Bow Common, 22 June 2024, 6.30–Sunset

Workshop Programme

16 Apr 21 Jun 2024
School of Art, Architecture and Design, LondonMet



Saturday 22 Jun 2024, 6.30pm
St Paul’s Bow Common

£10 £15 £25 Advance Tickets

Join Musarc on one of the longest days of the year and watch the choir sing until dusk in one of the city’s most beautiful spaces. Food prepared by singers and drinks available all evening + shop with books, music and artworks by members of the ensemble. Doors and bar open 6.30pm. Programme starts 7.30pm and ends just after sunset. Advance Tickets starting from £10 available online from Children and young people under fifteen go free.

The choir’s practice is its performance, deep under this evening which is but an archipelago. Choir as Method asks how the chorus embodies knowledge. It presents new commissions and work in progress that materialise the choir’s ongoing creative practice and research, being a body of bodies in relation to each other, and the weight and affordances of its environment, culture and traditions.

Rachel Warr is teaching the ensemble puppetry as part of an ongoing, year-long project with composer Benjamin Oliver. Improvisor and pianist Pat Thomas has been teaching the choir how to conduct itself. In her second commission for the choir, Heleen van Haegeborgh has been making an inventory of the languages the choir speaks and the instruments it plays. Jennifer Walshe has been in a room with the choir to conjure and test ideas, working into different directions from a shared conception of embodied practice. Finally, after nine years, artist and composer Lin Chiwei has created a new tape score for the ensemble in which a double choir reads from the braided and wound textures of a knotted string, sounding the body of its own granular, cricket-like intelligence.

Choir as Method takes place in one of the country’s most beautiful modernist churches. The setting is informal and convivial. Breaks between performances offer time to talk and eat. There is no fixed stage, and the performance arrangements will change as the evening progresses. The audience is invited to move around, stand or sit on the floor. Blankets will be provided in addition to benches. There will be no artificial lighting in the space. The audience will be given candles to illuminate the auditorium as darkness falls. The concert is expected to finish just after sunset, which on the day is around 9.30pm.


Images from Musarc’s Midsummer Folk Meet II, Truman Brewery, 2016. Photos by Yiannis Katsaris

St Paul’s Bow Common

St Paul’s Bow is one of London’s most beautiful and welcoming public spaces. Designed in 1960 by Maguire and Murray, the building is considered a Brutalist masterpiece. In 2013, it won the National Churches Trust Diamond Jubilee Award for best Modern Church built in the UK since 1953.


St Paul’s Bow, by Maguire and Murray, 1960.


Unlike other churches in London, St Paul’s remains a civic space and a continuation of the city, open all day to the community and passers-by for contemplation or as a refuge. It is is a town square, able to process the assembled detritus of the people and things that pass through it. Benches surround the altar, alongside crayons and nursery chairs, two pianos, a coffee machine, a box of home-made instruments, cushions, cleaning paraphernalia, stacks of chairs and trestles, extension leads, Ikea bags overflowing with stuff for the next jumble sale, balloons from a christening, flowers. From the ceiling issue two bell pulls and salt weeps through two cracks in the concrete, forming small stalagmites on the floor that look like patches of snow.

Its dignity lies in its complete disregard for barriers, security and corporate balance sheets. St Paul’s has offered Musarc time and space to rehearse and perform in return for a donation. The choir would like to thank the church and its guardian, Mother Bernadette Hegarty, for its generosity and welcome.

Venue Information

St Paul’s Bow Common
Burdett Road
London E3 4AR
Google Maps

Nearest Tube/Rail: Mile End (9min) and Limehouse (15min)
Busses: 277, D6, D7, N277


Advance £15 (£10 Concessions, £25 Give Extra) tickets are available from Eventbrite.
Admission on the night is £18 (£13 Concessions).
Card payments on the door only.

Children are welcome and go free (under 15) – please contact us in advance as the event is recorded. Donations in support of Musarc’s artists and ensemble programme are welcome.