SOUNDING COV is a creative, musical, community project focused on one event: 11 hours of chanting continuously, followed by 1 hour of silence. We SOUND COV every year on 14 November and create a major music festival for the City of Coventry.
The purpose is to saturate Coventry City Centre with sound, based on creativity, joy and healing. We are working to support the land on which Coventry is built. The first SOUNDING COV took place on November 14th 2010: this was the 70 year anniversary of the blitzing of Coventry, when the City received 11 continuous hours of bombing in 1940.
The core of the sound consists of four Sanskrit mantras, specifically chosen to engage with the land of Coventry City Centre, to:
1) Clear obstacles and unify
2) Release a chain of distressful events and attract positive energy
3) Generate self- worth and confidence
4) Create peace (locally in Coventry and globally)
Each mantra takes place for 15mins each, so within 1 hour, all 4 mantras are sounded: this process repeats over 11 hours. 1 hour of silence follows. Each mantra has a different musical flavour – Indian, Irish, African and Afro-Caribbean.
Chanting these mantras benefits the land of Coventry; it also directly benefits the lives of the individuals who chant them. Everyone is invited to make a wish for Coventry, using the template below. Elephant is an important totem in Coventry’s culture and is directly connected with the first mantra we will be chanting to clear obstacles.
Please print out this template below, make a wish for Coventry then bring your SOUNDING COV Elephants to the performance night itself (November 14).
We invite anyone who likes to sing to come and take part. No experience is required. We also invite musicians who like to play and support these different musical themes. The process is an 11 hour jam session, based on listening and improvising musically, while the core of the Sanskrit mantras continue throughout.
We invite healers, energy workers and anyone interested in working with land. We invite the creativity of anyone who would like to be involved. Any form of creative expression is welcome, including physical performance e.g. yoga, dance, exercise. People can be involved for the entire 11hours, and enter into a new sphere of stamina, or come for just 5 mins – do whatever you want!
For performance details, please see EVENTS
Performance is free to attend, so open to all. Donations are gratefully received.
For SOUNDING COV 2011, Performance Frequency is grateful for the Small Arts Grant awarded by Coventry City Council. We ask for donations to be made on the performance night itself, to contribute towards the running costs for SOUNDING COV. Performance Frequency is very happy to receive offers of sponsorship to develop the project long-term. If you would like to offer sponsorship, please get in touch via our contact page
We like to document SOUNDING COV using social media, visuals and technology. If you would like to contribute by documenting this project, please get in touch
SOUNDING COV takes place in Coventry, is about Coventry and is for Coventry. However, this project is about much more than Coventry and has the potential to work with any city, anywhere in the world. People from outside Coventry are particularly welcome to take part. You don’t have to live in Coventry or have any connection with Coventry to take part. Sounding Cov is about working creatively with land, in an urban context.
SOUNDING COV is an experiment to engage with creativity, in an urban setting and change space itself
SOUNDING COV is inspired by the Singing Field work created by Chloë Goodchild. The specific mantras used in this project have been part of a series given to Sara McCarthy by Namadeva Acharya Thomas Ashley-Farrand, who inspired this project. The event is dedicated to him, in honour of his recent passing from this world in Oct 2010.
SOUNDING COV is open to all. Those who wish to test their sound stamina, like to stay the course of the entire 12 hours; other people like to contribute for smaller amounts of time, or simply come along and witness what happens. Contributions from creative people to the project, are very welcome – musicians, performers, film journalists and researchers.
SOUNDING COV is suitable for you:
•You want to take part in something that has never been done before!
• You are from, you are in or you have a connection to Coventry and
you would like to offer something to this City
• You have no connection with Coventry whatsoever. You are interested in working with land in a creative way
• You enjoying singing and would like to be involved in an unusual project
• You would like to test your stamina and be part of the experience of chanting non-stop for 11 hours
• You are a musician and you would love the opportunity to jam non-stop for 11 hours!
The purpose of SOUNDING COV is to work with the land of Coventry City Centre and invite it to release the trauma that it experienced on 14th Nov 1940. Without doubt, that night proved a huge trauma for the City of Coventry and its people. Performance Frequency pays respect to the many lives that were lost during that time and the families who survived them and continue to hold their memory.
It is the belief of this project, that the trauma of that night has been held in the land, concreted over and has continued to influence the City’s culture and psyche in a negative way. Working with vibration and sound in the SOUNDING COV way, we believe it is possible to support the land to become truly free from this trauma, thus allowing the city’s inhabitants and businesses to really start to unify, prosper, and attract positive growth and wealth. It is also anticipated that, over time, this approach can begin to support a reduction in the expression of violence in the City Centre and an increase in the expression of creativity.
SOUNDING COV is interested to engage with the Blitz in an imaginative way, which is about moving the City forward, rather than in maintaining the City’s identity as a place which was once bombed. It takes place in the context of developments in the City such as its rebranding as City of Invention and creative projects that took Coventry into the 2012 Olympics, such as Godiva Awakes (by Imagineer-www.imagineerproductions.co.uk). Internationally, the project takes place in the context of Acoustic Ecology and forms part of the World Listening Day Events – an International aspect of the World Listening Project
There are also many links to be made with the peace and reconciliation work that
originates in Coventry and of which SOUNDING COV forms a part. This project is an example of working with land in an urban context, that can be applied anywhere in the world. We will be actively approaching other international cities, particularly Dresden, Munich, cities with which Coventry is twinned. This same work can be offered in all of those places.
SOUNDING COV is an opportunity to exorcise Coventry’s ghosts and offer a joyful, contemporary celebration of what Coventry can be now. While the mantras are in Sanskrit, the music surrounding them reflects different cultures that came to form Coventry after the Blitz, particularly Irish and Afro-Caribbean. The music pays respect to Coventry’s musical heritage e.g. as a place where Chuck Berry recorded and also as a place which birthed Two Tone. Performance Frequency would like to see SOUNDING COV stimulate the start of a new musical culture, called Blue Tone, which is about supporting Coventry to release and express its deep creativity and dynamism.