Rich Mix is highlighting the 100th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Salvation Army on 20th August 2012.
Rich Mix will highlight rare archive footage of the funeral of General William Booth as part of its current London Requiem project. The footage shows an event on the scale of a great State occasion, with crowds thronging the streets to see the cortege make its way from Central London to Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington, where Booth is buried.
Abney Park is also the location for the world premiere of The London Requiem, by Benjamin Till, which will take place on 29th September. General Booth’s grave receives a steady flow of visitors from around the world, coming to pay their respects to the founder of a religious organisation which is still one of the World’s largest social support networks.
The Salvation Army has its roots in East London. In 1865 Booth left his pulpit to take his message onto the streets and reach the homeless and destitute.
The Salvation Army provided the first food depot, the first day nursery, the first missionary hospital and also boasts a long tradition of nurturing musical talent through its bands.
The London Requiem has been written by Benjamin Till, who found inspiration from gravestone quotations across the city. His recording of the music features a number of well-known and perhaps unlikely soloists. Among them are actors Barbara Windsor and Matt Lucas, the folk singer Maddy Prior, pop singer Tanita Tikarum and the playwright Sir Arnold Wesker. Rich Mix is currently releasing a series of films which preview the work and provide context to the music and its themes.
The first films are already available to see on The Space
, the new digital arts service developed by Arts Council England in partnership with the BBC, www.thespace.org.
On 16th August, the film about Movement Four will be presented by Anthony Harris, a member of the Rebel Chorus, who will perform at the premiere of The London Requiem. He looks at how the Victorians dealt with death and the heavy symbolism found in many of the capital’s cemeteries. Anthony is also a 6th generation member of the Salvation Army, so he is particularly proud to present the film which features General Booth’s centenary.
The films are enhanced on The Space
by contextual audio interviews, photographs, essays and Till’s composer’s notes which offer his personal reflections on the music. Rich Mix is also offering a number of activities linked to The London Requiem, including access to an open rehearsal and a guided walk of East End burial grounds.
Tickets are currently available through the Rich Mix