A 60-strong choir braved the elements to sing a memorial to mark the 100th anniversary of the end first world war. Climbing fourteen summits in total, the group sang pieces by William Wordsworth, Fairport Convention and musician Dave Camlin.

The group scaled nine mountains in the Lake District including England’s highest, Scafell Pike. During the performance at Great Gable, they were filmed by a 360-degree camera for a project by Keswick Museum and the University of York and funded in part by the AHRC and EPSRC‘s Immersive Experiences Partnership Call.

The Guardian reported,

“The tribute is part of a wider programme of events to mark a century since the conflict ended. Thirteen mountains in the national park were given to the National Trust in memory of those who had died. Known as the “Great Gift”, 12 summits were given by the Fell and Rock Climbing Club and Scafell Pike was given by Lord Leconfield.

Gilli Goodfellow, one of the members from Cockermouth, said: “It’s been amazing, an incredible experience and difficult to put into words really. None of us were aware of the emotional impact it would have on us, it’s become our own little fellowship.

Called The Fellowship of Hill and Wind and Sunshine, the group got its name from a speech made by poet and mountaineer Geoffrey Winthrop Young, delivered onGreat Gable in 1924 as he dedicated the fells to the nation, saying: “[They] surrendered their part in the fellowship of hill, and wind, and sunshine, that the freedom of this land, the freedom of our spirit, should endure.” Young continued to climb mountains even after being wounded and losing a leg while working as an ambulance driver at the battle of San Gabriele in Italy.

Camlin, who led the choir, said: “The real experience of singing meaningful and powerful songs of remembrance in a large choir on a mountain-top was profoundly moving, and we hope that the virtual experience will help people to share in what was a very special moment.”

The project uses virtual reality technology to capture the performance and research whether people experience the same health benefits from group singing with a virtual choir, as they do in the real world.

Dr Helena Daffern from the University of York, who led the project, said, “This project is particularly exciting as it combines finding innovative ways of using technology to engage wider communities with group singing alongside increasing our understanding of why singing together improves your health and wellbeing. Working with partners like the National Trust and Keswick Museum allows us to find ways to maximise the beneficial impact of group singing in the future.”

The project was one of 32 projects funded by AHRC and EPSRC as part of the £2m Research and Partnership Development call for the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences.

The call supports the development of early-stage research partnerships that will explore the creation of new immersive experiences addressing three key themes: Memory, Place and Performance.

Source: The Guardian and The National Trust.

Photo (c) National Trust / Paul Harris.

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