AN UPLIFTING new music project is to receive its world premiere on Portland as part of the b-side festival.

The project features musician West Dorset resident Billy Bragg, who is lending his musical talent to a choir of voices aiming to address the issue of shame connected to sexuality in the gay community.

International artist Jordan McKenzie is premiering Shame Chorus on the opening day of the festival, September 10.

To be performed at 6pm at West Weares, at the end of Chesil Cove near Quiddles, Shame Chorus promises an outdoor performance never to be forgotten.

Some 12 original compositions exploring shame will be belted out by a chorus of voices standing next to Chesil Beach.

The compositions are said to be a collective act of catharsis, community, celebration and liberation.

This performance was devised in collaboration with international artist Jordan McKenzie, The London Gay Men’s Chorus, The Freud Museum and psychotherapist Susie Orbach.

The project was called Shame because it is a debilitating and disabling emotion that leads to depression and isolation and is borne in silence. Shame Chorus seeks to break this silence and isolation, using original testimonies from members of the chorus, Jordan McKenzie commissioned Dorset based Billy Bragg, Shane Cullinan, Jessica Curry, Leo Chadburn, Edmund Jolliffe, Steven Smith, David McAlmont, Conor Mitchell, Sarah Morrison, Verity Susman, Benjamin Till and Jack White to make twelve original compositions exploring shame that will be sung by the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

Shame Chorus will also take over St George’s Church at Easton, Portland for a unique Sunday performance on September 11 at 11am.

b-side festival runs until September 18 and brings contemporary art to the south coast.

Its programme has evolved through conversations between artists, residents and producers to create work that complements the island’s unique and endlessly-evolving history, geology and character.

See for more information.


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