Collective Spirit – The Boat Project (2012)

‘The Boat Project is a living archive of people’s stories and lives, a 30ft vessel made from donated wooden items. From February to July 2011 members of the public donated wood to the project. But not just any old wood: pencil or piano – as exotic as Zebrawood or as familiar as pine – every piece had a story behind it. Donations arrived in their thousands, from highly personal items to pieces of national importance. These donations were then used to build a state-of-the-art seafaring yacht named Collective Spirit, which toured the English Coastline throughout 2012’The Boat Project, 2012.

In celebration of The Boat Project a composition named Collective Spirit was commissioned to celebrate the arrival of Collective Spirit at Margate Harbour on Saturday the 14th July 2012. Written by songwriter Megan HenwoodParrabbola commissioned Emily to arrange the work for SATB community choir and brass band and compose an introduction for brass band. The premiere was performed by Megan Henwood, Thanet ‘Big Sing’ Community Choir, Regents Brass Band and conducted by Emily at Turner Contemporary, Margate on the 14th of July 2012.



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‘From a producer’s perspective, this is exactly what we were looking for. Beautifully done, I feel it adds to Megan’s original beautiful song but without over-gilding the lily. I feel the themes of Englishness, the sea, and in fact the diversity of the donations come through really strongly. Thank you – it is a real joy to be involved in such a beautiful thing’ – James Gough, Producer

‘I like this a lot. I think it uses the forces incredibly creatively and helps tell the story that Megan has chosen. And I really enjoy the rhythmic shifts. Again – absolutely love it’ – Philip Parr, Director

‘It’s fantastic! Very beautiful and exciting’ – Megan Henwood, Songwriter


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