Friends, I have been running Gather & Hunt for five years now and I have been lucky enough to see many wonderful, mind-blowing, unforgettable things. None has made a greater impression on me than Claire Cowan and The Blackbird Ensemble. I’ve seen them playing instruments beneath cotton candy clouds at The Basement, I’ve seen them dressed as ballerina birds on a stage in The Wintergarden, I’ve seen them jigging in front of epic skyscapes and playing in an indoor forest. Every time, they find some way to stop my heart beating (just for a second).
The Blackbirds have been working on a mostly volunteer basis for years, a group of individuals banding together under the direction of the wildly talented Claire Cowan, just for the sake of being part of something world-class. Right now, they are working on a number of major shows for next year, and they need to raise some money to realise them. It’s our moment to support this fledgling, brilliant orchestra and theatre company who make me proud by vague association.
They’re holding a very special fundraiser at The Crystal Palace on the 20th of July, where they’ll be performing some of their most spectacular works by living composers from Bjork to Nick Cave to Bowie. Featuring vocalists Jessie Cassin (swoon), Alex Taylor and Mikey Brown in front of a 25 piece orchestra, this is going to be classic Blackbird magic and if you miss it you are a FOOL.