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We’ve just released what we think may be the world’s first charity single recorded on 17th century instruments.
Regular OAE fans might be familiar with Watercycle, our water-themed education project that has spent the last couple of year touring schools, town halls, theatres, concert halls, care homes, pubs and even ferries around the country. A big part of that was the Watercycle song, composed specially by James Redwood. It’s been sung by children, community choirs and audiences in every town we’ve visited, including a massed choir of over 1500 at the Royal Albert Hall. Which got us thinking – when this project is over, so is the Watercycle song. It’s probably never going to be played again. Which is a sad thought.
Let’s record it, we thought. So we did. On a shoe-string budget at Bradford-on-Avon’s Wiltshire Music Centre.
For the entirety of the Watercycle project, we were raising money for WaterAid – for a national tour inspired by water it seemed appropriate. Participants at our schools concerts would collect coins in plastic water bottles, which they then used as improvised percussion. After they were done, all the bottles were cut open and the coins collected, sorted and counted by a team of very dedicated volunteers (mostly OAE players and office staff). We raised over £10,000 that way – through pennies and small change.
But we didn’t want to stop there. So this single is in support of WaterAid as well. Half of everything we get from streams and downloads goes to them. So let’s make it a lot. Another £10,000, anyone?