Okono Community Choir
Photo by Patrick Bridgeman Photography
The Okono Community Choir is a new way of coming together to sing. Developed by John Bowker, the creator of Earthsong Camps, the choir offers a joyful musical experience and a friendly atmosphere. The choir is open both to experienced singers and those who want to have fun with singing for the first time.
No one is put on the spot to sing alone. The Okono songs have been inspired by the musical traditions ofEurope, Africa and beyond. The singers learn parts by ear without the use of musical notation. The song is then sung in its entirety, repeatedly for up to an hour. This generosity of time allows the song to create something akin to a musical cathedral; a sacred space of sound, surrounding the singers and holding them safely inside.
One the best-loved elements of an Okono class is the Heartsong. This is a special, multi-part harmony chosen for its ability to carry singers into a deep meditative space. There, emotions may come to the surface in order to be released and the space is carefully held by John who has years of experience supporting people on their transformational journey.
The simple tenets of the choir are mutual support and warm, human kindness to each other. There is no single ethos behind the songs, they can be enjoyed by people of any faith or none. All that’s needed is a love of singing and a longing for that deep, shared connection when people are united in song.