Around the World in Song

Sydenham Singers and Vauxhall Voices presented a fabulous evening of acapella songs from around the world.

To see photos and hear some of the magical singing, click here.

We started in Mali, then headed south east across Africa, passing Nigeria, Cameroon, DRC, Angola, Namibia and Botswana to South Africa, with a song from the guerrilla movement during apartheid.

Then we hopped over the Atlantic to South America landing in Brazil, before flying over the Amazon and Venezuela to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, stopping in Jamaica for a song by the island’s most cherished son.

To Freeport, Louisiana, home in early 1900s of American folk and blues music. Onwards to Jackson, Mississippi, one of several key locations during the civil rights movements of the 1960s. North to New York state, just south of Lake Ontario, for a chant commemorating the indigenous Seneca people.

West past Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon, and a hop, skip and jump over the Pacific to sing an earth blessing on the tropical islands of Hawaii.  From one island nestled amid vast stretches of Ocean, we then headed to the South Pacific and beautiful Aotearoa, or New Zealand, for a powerful Maori song about uniting different cultures.

After honouring the indigenous people and white settlers of Australia, we went north, passing Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan before arriving in Korea to sing a peace prayer.

Crossing the vast lands of China, Kashmir, Pakistan and Afghanistan, we reached Iran and sang a Farci harvest song. Then a somewhat shorter journey, just 1,600 miles and only 30 hours by car according to Google maps, via Tehran, Azerbaijan and Armenia before experiencing the polyphonic perfection of Georgian music.

Then we took the coastal road through northern Turkey and Istanbul, heading north east towards the traditional Romany lands of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia to sing a beautiful Roma Gypsy song.

Passing Bosnia/Herzegovina and Slovenia, we hit Western Europe for a song with roots in both France and Spain.

Next to northern Finland, where the Sámi people live, for a yoik based on one of their calls.

Close to home now as we flew over Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the UK to the green shores of Ireland for some gorgeous ballads.

And then finally home for some Wassailing.