San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
‘Breaking the Spell of Loneliness’
"In 2014 George Monbiot; political and environmental activist, author and columnist, wrote an article for The Guardian in which he argued that humanity is entering an age where lives are governed by consumerism, social isolation is celebrated, and personal goals of wealth and power feed ambition. “The age of loneliness is killing us” inspired a BBC documentary on the subject and George received a number of offers to expand on the argument in print. His reaction, however, was to avoid the social oxymoron of a one-man crusade against isolation and find a way to combat the epidemic of loneliness with one of the most unifying forces known to humanity – music." - Folk Radio UK
They began to send back and forth narrative sketches that touched on the themes and stories behind loneliness and social isolation, the politics that underpin it and the ways people and communities overcome it. From these sketches Ewan began to craft lyrics, melodies and finally, as the end goal, songs.
The stimulation for the project came after waiting, impatiently, in a queue at the checkout while an elderly customer chatted to the store assistant. George realised that this may have been that customer’s only social interaction of the day or even the week.
The project, entitled ‘Breaking the Spell of Loneliness’, sees Ewan arranging and recording an album of original songs that have grown out of the initial sketches. The songs go hand in hand with notes from George that describe the stories and themes behind the songs and discuss the topic in general.
So, to coincide with the release of the album, George Monbiot and Ewan McLennan are performing a limited number of live dates, in which together they showcase the various facets of the project. Singing ‘a cappella’ and accompanying himself on guitar and banjo, Ewan will perform each of the songs that appear on the album, which will be interspersed with George’s depiction of the human stories behind the songs and discussion of the broader subject. Expect a unique and one-off interplay of songs and stories that will be at once poignant and rousing.
This event has been organised by The Art House, Southampton CIC.
Many thanks to Eastleigh Bourough Council, The Point and The Berry Theatre staff for the use of their beautiful venue and for all their assistance.
You may also like to know that a TEDx event has been organised independently of The Art House during the day in which George will also take part. Tickets are sold seperately. Click the image for info and tickets.
The Berry Theatre - visit https://www.theberrytheatre.co.uk/
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023 8065 2333
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The Art House Gallery, Cafe & Venue
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