8pm Friday 12 April – 8am Saturday 13 April
The Tanks, Tate Modern
After 10pm entry is via the Blavatnik Building entrance only.
Free and unticketed
On 12-13 April 2019 the Academy brings to life a new version of Gavin Bryars’ iconic work Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet – a piece centred upon an unknown homeless man’s vocal refrain.
The performance will involve professional musicians and people with experience of homelessness performing together throughout the night at Tate Modern, and it will be the most accessible concert we have ever done.
Over the last twenty years, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields has worked creatively with hundreds of people who are or who have been homeless. This specific project has been a collaboration with Streetwise Opera, who form the choir for this performance; and Gavin Bryars’ ensemble and Southbank Sinfonia, who will play alongside members of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, West London Mission and The Connection at St Martin’s. We have worked with more than sixty people with experience of homelessness and engaged them with over fifty hours of singing and music making at The Connection at St Martin’s and the West London Mission.
Having the opportunity to perform is very important, because it allows us to rebuild our self-esteem. Problems and trials in life knock you down all the time and being able to perform has allowed me to recover and to have the confidence to speak my mind.” Germaine Nyack, performer with Streetwise Opera.
During this project we have worked with the international arts and homelessness movement With One Voice (WOV), an initiative connecting and strengthening arts and homelessness projects worldwide, and the Museum of Homelessness (MoH), an organisation created by people with direct experience of homelessness to collect and share the art, history and culture of homelessness and housing. WOV and MoH are piloting cultural spaces and organisational training to support venues being open and inclusive to all, ensuring meaningful engagement and equity for people who are or have been homeless
Never Failed Me Yet is produced by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in partnership with Gavin Bryars, Streetwise Opera, Tate Modern, Southbank Sinfonia, The West London Mission and The Connection at St Martin’s
Find out more about Gavin Bryars’ Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet in this Guardian article
Generously supported by Arts Council England, The Big Give, Jerusalem Trust, Patrick & Helena Frost Foundation, Sir Neville Marriner Fund and Albert Hunt Trust.
FIND OUT MORE
Watch this video to find out more about our workshops with homeless people:
If you would like to make a donation to support this work you can do so via The Big Give.