MORE IN COMMON IN MUSIC
© Common and Kind 2016
Honorary Patron: Joyce DiDonato
Associate Institution: Morley College
Common and Kind was founded in June 2016.
The story begins on the morning of the 24th of June. Deeply moved by the inspiring life and tragic loss of Jo Cox and the divisive human impact of the EU referendum and divisive political and human activity across the world, a social media post called upon people to respond to division by demonstrating the power of music to bring communities together. The response was phenomenal. Thousands of people, from pop and classical singers, musical theatre, folk and opera stars to chamber choirs and community choirs came forward, as well as orchestral players, concert soloists, jazz musicians and many more across the world. In an age of division, music could clearly unite like nothing else.
To channel the offerings of so many people, our founder wrote the song Human Kind. Featuring quotations from John Donne (‘No man’s an island’) and Jo Cox (‘More in common’), the song was conceived to be adaptable for a wide range of musical genres and abilities. It was also designed so that it could be recorded across the world, creating an international music video bringing people together from all communities, cultures, nations and musical genres.
Human Kind was recorded at the end of a collaborative concert held at the Union Chapel in London on Tuesday 2nd August 2016. With a huge line-up of solo artists, massed choral and orchestral forces, it was a truly extraordinary evening of music spanning genres and crossing borders. Artists included international stars from a huge variety of backgrounds: Cassidy Janson, star of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly, guitarist Mark Lettieri of multiple Grammy winners Snarky Puppy, pop chart-topper singer Sarah Jane Morris and Bengali folk star Saida Tani. The conductor was James Burton with the orchestra led by Britten Sinfonia principal Thomas Gould. Journalist, author and environmentalist George Monbiot premiered his collaboration with folk singer Ewan McClennan. The concert was hosted by legendary journalist and broadcaster Robin Lustig, former anchor of BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight and an expert in international diplomacy with a deep belief in the unique power of music to transform lives.
Since the concert, choirs and soloists from across the world have sent in their recording. They include Pihcintu, a choir combining refugees from Cambodia, China, Congo, El Salvador, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, West Indies, and Zambia, choirs from Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Scotland, India, Malaysia, the UK and USA. The video single also features guest soloists Cassidy Janson, Sarah Connolly, Jonathan Hoard, Saida Tani and nine members of Snarky Puppy. Human Kind will be released worldwide on Friday the 16th of June 2017, with all proceeds of online sales being donated to Musicians without Borders, Music Action International and Amnesty International.
Common and Kind returned to the Union Chapel on the 25th of July 2017. Partnership workshops between diverse groups were linked with large scale collaborative performance, featuring world-leading artists from across the musical spectrum.
Thus we aim to actively foster cohesion between communities and cultures across the country and across the world.