The Songs I Had
A performance for Wilfred Owen by The Choral Engineers
Songs with words by Wilfred Owen, Ivor Gurney, Kurt Vonnegut, John Keats, Sir Walter Raleigh and others…
Preceded by a pilgrimage beginning at 11.04am at Keat’s House, Teignmouth.
On Sunday 4th November 2018, exactly one hundred years after the death of the poet Wilfred Owen, The Choral Engineers – Torbay’s creative community choir – will perform a sequence of new songs at All Saints Church in Torre. Wilfred Owen had connections with Torquay and prior to WW1 used to come and stay with his aunt and uncle who ran a bookshop at 264 Union Street (now a bridal shop ‘Brides at Waterfields’), and he went on pilgrimages to Keat’s House in Teignmouth (where one hundred years earlier in 1818 Keats wrote part of his epic poem Endymion). We will also find other ’18 connections with war and peace including Sir Walter Raleigh (born in Devon) who was executed on 29th October 1618, and 1718 when the quaker William Penn was born and the first machine gun was patented! We will also sing songs by poet/composer Ivor Gurney and famously anti-war novelist, Kurt Vonnegut and create something new about Agatha Christie’s time as a nurse in Torquay in WW1 at the church were she was baptised.
The day will begin with an optional pilgrimage from Keats’ House in Northumberland Place, Teignmouth at 11.04am, and continue by train to Torre, where we will process past the bridal shop to the Noble Tree Cafe where we will hear songs and drink soup and then on through Victoria Park, past the Quaker meeting house and the Soroptimist society finally ending at All Saints Church for a 3pm seated performance.
The Choral Engineers are a joyously experimental choir based at Torre Abbey (every Friday morning 10.30-12.30 – all welcome) who were formed to create a shamanic pantomime about the life of local eccentric scientist/engineer Oliver Heaviside and have subsequently formed the choir for a Geological Opera for Unesco, performed with members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the opening of the South Devon Highway and are 2/3rds of the way through a Triptych about Brexit which will culminate on 29th March 2019 at Dartington. They are led by composers and film-makers Hugh Nankivell and Steve Sowden.
The day will also feature special guest performers Peter Spafford. Sara Hurley and Tony Lidington (aka Uncle Tacko).