The Assembly

When We Sang it sounded like angels…

The Assembly is a new film installation by Rachel Davies, inspired by the artist’s memories of singing in the Manchester Girls Choir in the early1980’s; a world of aspiration, teenage anxiety and pop music, set against a society that appeared to be turning its back on shared and collective experience.

Today’s choir remains a unique community, which welcomes all, and yet is known for its international prize-winning and beautiful sound. Members of the 80’s choir have reassembled for the making of this piece which incorporates dance and pop music, and harnesses the power of memory to summon emotive forces that can merge with the routine of our daily lives.

Rachel Davies located several former members of Manchester Girls Choir, interviewing and recording them for the film and its soundtrack. In the creation of The Assembly, Davies also worked in collaboration with local artists, composer Kevin Malone, editor Daniel Saul and choreographer Julia Griffin to create a new song for the choir and dance sequences derived from ideas within the recordings. The original aspirations of the choir are revived in The Assembly; individual parts assemble to form a communal, cohesive whole.

Rachel Davies has been making film, video and animation for 15 years. Her work has been regularly screened on TV and in theatre settings and has won prizes in international film festivals around the world, most significantly the IMZ Grand Prix Dance Screen award 2005 for her short film Gold.

The Assembly is a Manchester First Commission for Manchester International Festival.