Elemental: Reflections

For about the last year, Toni and I have been planning “Elemental”, our ground-breaking, multi-sensory themed concert experience. Since the beginning of the year, hundreds of BeVox singers have been working on the music. Countless hundreds of hours have been spent on the staging, lighting, sound design, videos and special effects. And it all came together in an utterly unique performance yesterday. In the immediate aftermath, I wanted to set down my thoughts and feelings about it all, and to share some of the feedback we’ve received.

From a personal point of view, yesterday was utterly incredible. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone who was a part of it, and I hope beyond hope that everyone is incredibly proud of themselves and what they achieved too. There were several moments, throughout the day, when I just couldn’t contain myself, and was either leaping up and down and giggling like an idiot, or so overwhelmed with emotion that I stopped conducting and just let the sound wash over me. So many things came together to cause those emotions – sometimes it was the relief when things that had been planned for so long finally came together, sometimes it was delight at how well the marriage of music and images, text and light all created something greater than the sum of its parts – but mostly, it was feeling that human connection with the emotions being felt by the 200+ people on stage. When we all pull together to create something, when we overcome difficulties to achieve a goal we’ve all been striving for – it all just feels so much more worthwhile. It was a joy to share it all with everyone, and I’m humbled by the dedication, support, professionalism and exuberance of this incredible choir. I truly feel that it’s a privilege to work with BeVox – I get such a buzz from it.

Toni and I have long believed that the most important thing we can do in life is to create special memories, for as many people as possible. It’s something we aim for personally as well as professionally – for instance, we don’t give each other gifts for our birthdays, we take each other to special places and share experiences instead, as we know these experiences will create memories that will last a lifetime. We still regularly reminisce about what we did for each other’s birthdays a decade ago! We think that this is a fundamental part of what we do with BeVox too – it should be about creating memories together, memories that we can treasure in the years to come. Elemental will live in people’s memories for a very long time, and that is a really special thing.

We’ve already had lots of feedback, both from audience members and from singers (and from some singers who were in the audience!), and it seems that the overwhelming response has been that this was a highly ambitious event, delivered at the highest level. Whilst Toni and I are very proud of our part in that (and we are truly thankful to all the people who have made comments about the work we put it), this was a team effort. No matter how impressive the videos, lighting, staging etc was, no matter how wildly I waved my arms, it wouldn’t have meant anything without the voices and passion of everyone on stage. Because of how technical the show was, it would have been easy to get hung up on the technicalities, and delivered a show that was impressive but that lacked heart. I don’t think anyone could say that Elemental lacked heart – it was dripping with emotion, and that came from the singers. I’d like to thank each and every one of them.

Whenever this whole project has felt too hard, whenever we’ve been struggling with the workload or the various challenges that arose (many of which were “behind the scenes” and no-one in the choir knows anything about), we’ve been sustained by a simple truth. We think of the singers of BeVox, and we know that they are sailing right behind us. Thank you.